NOMINEE 1: San Jose Mercury News - An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.

NOMINEE 2: Kalamazoo Gazette - James Burns, 34, of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police described as a 'farm-type truck.' Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns 'wrapped in the drive shaft.'

NOMINEE 3: Hickory Daily Record - Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C., when, awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith and Wesson .38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.

NOMINEE 4: UPI, Toronto - Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was 'one of the best and brightest' members of the 200-man association.

NOMINEE 5: Bloomberg News Service - A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been fatal. But the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. According to the article, 'He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating this deadly gas.' Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.

NOMINEE 6: The News of the weird - Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously in 1989. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

NOMINEE 7: The Indianapolis Star - Cigarette lighter may have triggered fatal explosion Dunkirk, Indiana. A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzle loader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

NOMINEE 8: St. Louis - Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying for it. Police found him unconscious in front of the store: paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat, where it had choked him to death.


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