Impaled by an 18 Inch Drill Bit
August 30, 2003 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Man Impaled on Drill Bit but he's actually going to be alright although he lost one eye. There is a pic on the link of the X-ray shot showing an 18 inch long, 1 1/2 inch wide drill bit going straight through his skull. No brain damage, no paralysis and his nephew is already joking about how he'll be popping out his glass eye at parties. Amazing!
posted by fenriq (29 comments total)
Well, no breakfast for me this morning.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:40 AM on August 30, 2003

Impaled by the meme of the week.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:52 AM on August 30, 2003

scary stuff.

and I don't mean just the drill bit, but also this part:

The hardest part, she said, is he was not insured for the job he was performing. According to Ben, he did have insurance, but for this particular job he was listed as a sub-contractor, and was not covered under his insurance.
Keck has begun to organize fund-raisers for his hospital bills, which are already starting to accumulate.

posted by matteo at 10:58 AM on August 30, 2003

Jesus Christ! That's horrifying!

...uh...does anyone know if the non-x-ray pic is online yet? :)
posted by dgaicun at 11:00 AM on August 30, 2003

wow, I'll have to keep an eye out for that guy.
posted by sharpener at 11:01 AM on August 30, 2003

Was there no one to hold the ladder steady while he worked?
posted by wobh at 11:04 AM on August 30, 2003

It is no longer fun and games now.
posted by trondant at 11:10 AM on August 30, 2003

A photograph taken after the accident was too graphic for reproduction.
posted by konolia at 11:33 AM on August 30, 2003

God, this story is so 19th century.
From the Phineas Gage Home Information Page:
On 13th. September 1848, an accidental explosion of a charge he had set blew his tamping iron through his head...The tamping iron went in point first under his left cheek bone and completely out through the top of his head, landing about 25 to 30 yards behind him. Phineas was knocked over but may not have lost consciousness even though most of the front part of the left side of his brain was destroyed. Dr. John Martyn Harlow...treated him with such success that he returned home to Lebanon, New Hampshire 10 weeks later.

Some months after the accident, probably in about the middle of 1849, Phineas felt strong enough to resume work. But because his personality had changed so much, the contractors who had employed him would not give him his place again.
Cage became profane, violent, fitful and grumpy. Then he died.
posted by ArcAm at 11:39 AM on August 30, 2003

Cage became profane, violent, fitful and grumpy. Then he died.

Let this be a lesson. If you're going to be a mean bastard, start out mean. Don't get hurt and become mean because then people won't understand that you had an iron pipe shoot through your head and that's why you're a bit mean.

Strangely, I had a room mate who underwent a severe personality change when he split his head open after a motorcycle accident. He became an alcoholic klepto and thought breaking into cars was cool. Last I knew he was cooling his wandering hands in jail.
posted by fenriq at 11:52 AM on August 30, 2003

Okay, this body piercing fad has definitely gone too far.
posted by ODiV at 11:58 AM on August 30, 2003

ODiV... hehe... that was good.
posted by poopy at 12:01 PM on August 30, 2003

Then he died.
Note that he died 10 years later. Pretty amazing.
posted by Mitheral at 12:28 PM on August 30, 2003

amazing, but he was quite incapable of 'normalcy' (define that as you will) for those 10 years...
posted by shadow45 at 12:43 PM on August 30, 2003

I'm calling shenanigans on this one. The X-ray, which is admittedly reproduced in small format, just doesn't look real. One of my professional skills is reading X-rays for fractures, foreign bodies and the occassional impalement and there's just something about this image that doesn't wash. It just looks wrong. The lack of a primary source when searching GoogleNews other than the Sierra Sun doesn't suggest overt truth either. Oh, Annanova does reprise the Sierra Sun story. I'll hold onto this skepticism until there's something else to support the story.
posted by shagoth at 1:49 PM on August 30, 2003

shall we meet at snopes?
posted by konolia at 1:57 PM on August 30, 2003

For those citing Phineas Gage: note that in his case, it's been generally accepted that his accident severed the corpus callosum, the structure that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. This procedure has been used in this century to treat some epileptics, among other problems. It almost always results in the sort of issues that Gage had, due to the lack of coordination.

The drill bit in this case went on the side, so the same complications probably wouldn't apply.
posted by mikeh at 1:58 PM on August 30, 2003

That x-ray is destined to be cover art for some nu-metal band's CD.
posted by me3dia at 2:01 PM on August 30, 2003

I've been following the parallel of this thread over at Fark via their "Comments Thingee."

Extremely dicey photo from the Sierra Sun that purports to be of the poor schmoe's x-ray.
posted by Dunvegan at 2:54 PM on August 30, 2003

I've got to second shagoth's shenanigans-callout. I've seen a lot of x-rays myself, and that one just doesn't look right, mainly because you should be able to discern at least some difference between the part of the drill bit in the skull, and the parts outside the skull, as far as I know, since the skull will affect the amount of radiation getting to the parts of the bit inside it. Unlike this knife-swallowing puppy's x-ray, where you can see the internal structures make different parts of the knife look different because different densities affect how much radiation is getting to different parts of the knife (not sure if I'm explaining myself well here, but at least I know what I mean).
posted by biscotti at 7:37 PM on August 30, 2003

I'm thinking maybe the x-ray is fake, but the story itself is true.
posted by konolia at 7:44 PM on August 30, 2003

In order for the x-ray to be genuine, that drill would have had to be still spinning at a fairly high velocity while unmanned, butt-end on the ground. That last part is actually not unlikely, but the still-spinning part is odd, to say the least.
posted by clevershark at 7:59 PM on August 30, 2003

i recall in the 70s hearing a story about a man who had a spinning drill enter his head and then stop. the scary part was that he had to turn the drill back on in order to pull it out. probably urban myth but the story stuck with me.
posted by dobbs at 8:30 PM on August 30, 2003

It does seem wierd that, to date, the only readily available source for the story seems to be that "Sierra Sun" article. All the other citations point back to that one article, and I haven't seen repeated in a lot of other credible arenas. It does seem pretty newsworthy--you would expect at least a flurry of attention and follow-up stories.

Did like the fact that these guys just apparently cribbed that original article, wholesale, and put it on a page with their own copyright on the bottom.
posted by LairBob at 11:09 PM on August 30, 2003

In order for the x-ray to be genuine, that drill would have had to be still spinning at a fairly high velocity while unmanned, butt-end on the ground

Good point. Clever, shark...verrrry clever.
posted by biscotti at 11:34 PM on August 30, 2003

posted by wobh at 1:16 AM on August 31, 2003

ABC is reporting the story on its web site, with a photo of the man in question. It's using that xray. Still looks funny but the incident at least is not Snopes material.
posted by konolia at 1:51 PM on September 2, 2003

Followup report from the Reno Gazette.
posted by dobbs at 6:50 AM on September 3, 2003

And Snopes has verified the story as well.
posted by fenriq at 2:13 PM on September 8, 2003

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