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US man blasts stubborn wheelnut with shotgun

'Severe' injuries for Darwin Award near-miss

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A US man has been "severely injured" after blasting a stubborn wheelnut on his Lincoln Continental with a 12-gauge shotgun at an inadvisably close range, the Telegraph reports.

The unnamed 66-year-old, from Southworth in Washington state, had been repairing the vehicle for two weeks and apparently lost his rag with the last bolt on the right rear wheel which refused to budge.

He let the wheel have it "from arm's length", and was "peppered with ricocheting buckshot and debris" for his trouble. He then enjoyed a visit to Tacoma General Hospital with "severe but not life threatening injuries". His feet, legs, and abdomen were worst affected, but the damage extended up to his chin.

Police Deputy Scott Wilson said: "He's bound and determined to get that lug nut off. Nobody else was there and he wasn't intoxicated."

While fans of the Darwin Awards will certainly applaud this valiant effort to earn a posthumous gong for those who have contributed to the "improvement of the human genome by accidentally removing themselves from it", we can't help feeling this ordnance-assisted mechanic is not in the same league as the Brazilian who "tried to disassemble a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) by driving back and forth over it with a car".

As the 2006 citation recorded: "This technique was ineffective, so he escalated to pounding the RPG with a sledgehammer. The second try worked - in a sense. The explosion proved fatal to one man, six cars, and the repair shop wherein the efforts took place." ®

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