May 5, 2004 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Man Survives Bizarre Nail Gun Accident
Six huge nails accidentally fired into Isidro Mejia's head after he tripped and fell on a nail gun.
More pics at Sun UK.
posted by fenriq (21 comments total)
Phineas Gage
posted by gwint at 12:26 PM on May 5, 2004

That's Fark-eriffic!
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:40 PM on May 5, 2004

Nails guns don't hurt carpenters, carpenters hurt carpenters.

I know some folks who have shot nails through their hands, skulls, legs, feet -- sometimes nailing a body part to a rafter or stud -- including a friend who was once precariously balanced with his hand nailed to a header.

IIRC, nail guns can be set to fire automagically upon contact with the material being fastened. (The alternate setting requires trigger and head depression at the same time.) I am surprised that this is even allowed but maybe one can "hack" a nail gun to do this.
posted by Dick Paris at 12:45 PM on May 5, 2004

OUCH! and WOW!
posted by psychotic_venom at 12:47 PM on May 5, 2004

gwint, it will remain to be seen if he suffers any serious behaviour modifications like Gage did.

I'm just astonished by the x-rays and the fact that he survived.
posted by fenriq at 12:49 PM on May 5, 2004

Anyone notice this is the second "Mejia" thread today?
posted by agregoli at 2:37 PM on May 5, 2004

posted by BobFrapples at 2:57 PM on May 5, 2004

agregoli, I had noticed the same thing--coincidence, or conspiracy?

On a side note, I have a really hard time understanding how he got so many nails going in so many different directions. I know the gun may have been set to auto-fire or something, but's like he thought it was a blow dryer. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there's some kind of murky backstory, like he pissed off some nasty folks, and this wasn't exactly an "accident".
posted by LairBob at 3:07 PM on May 5, 2004

It looks like an x-ray version of the story of the suicide who fell backwards onto a sword, thirty-five times. (Is that a Miss Marple story, or a parody of same? I can't remember, and it's not really important.)

The two other things that come to mind are: Eww. And: Ewwww.
posted by chicobangs at 3:18 PM on May 5, 2004

(Also, isn't Mejia the name of the town where The Widow Anna Nicole Smith was born? Quick! What's she doing for Cinco de Mayo? Anything FPP-worthy? We CAN go 3-for-mejia!)
posted by chicobangs at 3:20 PM on May 5, 2004

Those things fire quickly, don't they? I assumed he was turning his head away. Three from the back (almost parallel) two from the side, and one into the face.

Earlier today, with an identical model of nail gun, and a cast about the same density as a human head, assuming the nails were the low iron-content version, I found that within four seconds I could inject all six nails into the head. With only a quick turning motion.

Encouraged by my test, I decided to recruit a volunteer from the street for a re-enactment. After a great deal alcohol and an opiate, aided by an errant cat underfoot, my subject, holding the nail gun in his right hand, tripped, placed both hands in front of him to break his fall, and pitched forward. Because of the clumsy bulk of the nail gun (also, no doubt, the influence of the intoxicants), the subject inadvertently slammed his face forward onto the inverted nail gun, immediately turning his face away and rolling to the right. In quick succession, two nails were fired to the side of his head, and three or more (as the nail gun apparently malfunctioned) the back of his head. (I confess I was foreced to midly intervene at this point to achieve the anticipated results.)

In conclusion, this seems all-too-possible. Not that difficult, actually, if one is motivated.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:27 PM on May 5, 2004

say wha?
posted by Hackworth at 4:24 PM on May 5, 2004

Well, I stand corrected...thanks for clearing that up, EB. (Let me know where we can all send the flowers for your brave volunteer.)
posted by LairBob at 4:31 PM on May 5, 2004

Owww. Owwww!

Chicobangs: I vaguely remember Groundskeeper Willie saying something like that, but my googling was not fruitful. Gah, now it's pecking at my brain.
posted by Hypharse at 6:11 PM on May 5, 2004

Beware of things made in October*.

*Select TV Ads on left menu, scroll down to Fox TV / MLB Playoffs
posted by bwg at 7:45 PM on May 5, 2004

As one who has in the past nailed himself to a piece of furniture with a brad gun (a much smaller nail gun), I can only imagine the pain that this caused.

Dick Paris, some nail guns can be set to autofire several nails per second, but all of them require pulling the trigger as well as pushing the gun hard enough on the surface to be nailed to depress a plunger, activating the gun. It is common, however, to "hack" the gun by taping up the plunger so it is permanently depressed (this is often done in the cause of nail or staple gun fights, but that is another story altogether).
posted by dg at 8:15 PM on May 5, 2004

If I ever switch careers to do wet work for the Mafia, I know what my tool of choice would be.
posted by alumshubby at 12:53 PM on May 6, 2004

DG, so one could hack in the opposite fashion? Tape the trigger for activation by depressing the plunger only?

Sorry to hear about your hand. It's the new "hammer on the thumb".
posted by Dick Paris at 3:14 PM on May 6, 2004

I did that yesterday.

and I went to work this morning. feh.
posted by Frasermoo at 4:06 PM on May 6, 2004

Yes, Dick Paris, the "hack" would work both ways.
posted by dg at 6:50 PM on May 6, 2004

"I didn't know nuthin' wuz wrong 'til I tried to take muh ball-cap off..."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:42 PM on May 8, 2004

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