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Accidents will — and do — happen, and occasionally these freaky, unforeseen mishaps lead to shocking casualties.
Consider the case of then-37-year-old twins Alexandria Duval and Anastasia Duval, whose rocky relationship came to an end in a deadly 2016 car wreck in Hawaii. A nail-biting murder trial took place two years later.
The fatal family incident was covered in all its curvy complexities in a previous installment of “Accident, Suicide or Murder.” Alexandria was charged with second-degree murder after driving off a cliff in a plunge that killed her sister.
In court, her defense attorney adamantly said that what happened was a tragic accident that was set in motion when Anastasia pulled Alexandria’s hair and made her lose control of the car. Alexandria was found not guilty.
That’s the thing about accidents: You don’t see them coming and can’t anticipate the reverberations. In the run-up to the season three premiere of “Accident, Suicide or Murder” on Saturday, November 26 at 8/7c on Oxygen, wrap your brain around five of the around the most bizarre, almost unbelievable freak accidental deaths.
Segway Company Owner Dies in a Segway Plunge
In late September 2010, James “Jimi” Heselden, the 62-year-old British millionaire owner of Segway, plummeted to his demise after driving one of his two-wheeled battery-powered scooters off a cliff.
Heselden, the Daily News reported, at the time “was using an off-road version of the iconic ride to inspect the ground of his estate in northern England, tumbled 30 feet and was fished out of a river shortly after the freak accident.”
A decade later, the Segway, “once hailed as the future of personal transportation,” reported the New York Times in 2020, came to its own end. The company pulled the plug on production of the two-wheeled electric vehicles.
Florida Man Chokes to Death After Winning Bug-Eating Contest
Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach, Florida, lost his life after winning an insect-eating contest in October 2012. The cause of death according to the Broward County medical examiner’s office, the Associated Press reported at the time, was “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents.”
In short, bug body parts from the dozens of roaches he consumed obstructed Archbold’s airway and he couldn’t breathe. The death was ruled an accident.
Nevada Spa Worker Suffocates in a Cryotherapy Chamber
In October 2015, Las Vegas spa worker Chelsea Ake-Salvacion is believed to have gone into a cryotherapy chamber — which is used in pain management -— alone after hours, NBC reported. These kinds of chambers are kept at absolutely freezing cold temperatures.
She died as a result of “asphyxia to an oxygen-poor environment,” the Clark County Officer of the Coroner said in a statement. Her death was ruled an accident.
Former Rocker Loses Life in Hay Bale Mishap
Mike Edwards, 62, a cellist and founding member of the English rock band Electric Light Orchestra whose heydays were in the 1970s and ’80s, died after a hay bale weighing more than 1,300 pounds rolled down a sloping field in Devon, England, and crashed into his van. It was determined to be a freak accident, Reuters reported.
Dance Pioneer’s Fatal Wardrobe Malfunction
Isadora Duncan, credited as the mother of modern dance, was known for making artistic and fashion statements. On September 14, 1927, while out for a car ride with friends in Nice, France, the long, billowing silk scarf she had on got wrapped around an axle on the vehicle.
“Miss Duncan was hurled in an extraordinary manner from an open automobile in which she was rising and instantly killed by the force of her fall to the stone pavement,” the New York Times reported.
Duncan’s accidental death was a shocker — but it wasn’t the last of its type. In a 1992 dispatch to the New York Times, an individual pointed out that “medical examiners have seen many deaths and injuries in public places and the workplace from entanglements of loose-fitting clothing and long hair.”
Tune into the premiere of “Accident, Suicide or Murder” on Saturday, November 26 at 8/7c on Oxygen.
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