In the grand scheme of unfortunate ways to die, Garry Hoy might just take the crown after he fell to his death out of a window while trying to demonstrate how strong it was.
Hoy, 38, was a highly-regarded employee at Toronto law firm Holden Day Wilson.
Having also earned a degree in engineering, his natural career progression was to specialize in building safety and compliance.
The robustness of modern building techniques was something he took a particular interest in.
It was when his high-flying career took him to the twenty-forth floor of a Financial District skyscraper, built in 1969, that the office windows really caught his eye.
It wasn’t the breathtaking view from the panes that caught his attention, however, but more their tensile strength.
He was so keen to demonstrate their sturdiness he soon had a new party trick to whip out at gatherings: body checking the windows. You can probably see where this is going…
On July 9, 1993, the firm threw a welcome party in their conference room for their new intake of interns for the summer.
They were keen to explore the field of law they were studying and potentially decide on a specialism for their future.
Garry saw his moment to impress and, as he’d done countless times before, he threw his full weight against the huge window to demonstrate its unbreakable structural design and safety.
This time, however, he didn’t bounce back as he had before.
To the horror of the interns and other onlookers from the firm, rather than the window standing firm, the pane popped put of the frame.
Hoy, as shocked and surprised as anyone, fell 24 floors, dying instantly as he collided with a stone block on the pavement below.
A structural engineer questioned about the incident told the Toronto Star: “I don’t know of any building code in the world that would allow a 160-pound man to run up against a glass window and withstand it.”
Garry’s death, classified as ‘accidental auto-defenestration’ aka throwing yourself out a window by accident, is thankfully an extremely rare way to die.
Garry later won a Darwin Award, for his unfortunate demise.
He was described by peers as one of the ‘one of the best and brightest’ at the firm, which closed its doors three years later.
The bright side is that technically Garry proved his point: it was the frame that failed – the glass didn’t break.