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Posted: 8/26/2005 12:04:32 AM EST
Darwin Award Candidate?


GARDNER, MA (AP) -- A Gardner teen is dead after a bizarre accident involving a golf club and a fire hydrant.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports that 15-year-old Rafael Naranjo died Tuesday night after he struck a fire hydrant with a golf club he found in the street.

When Naranjo hit the hydrant, the club shattered, and a piece lodged in his neck. Naranjo died a short time later.

Gardner police and the state medical examiner are investigating.



Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:11:30 AM EST
Teen's death stuns family, friends
By J.J. Huggins
www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_2972234
GARDNER -- Family members of 15-year-old Rafael Naranjo remained in shock Wednesday morning while they arranged a funeral for the teen, who died accidentally Tuesday night after a piece of a golf club struck him in the neck.

Naranjo's family described him as an outgoing, popular boy who did well in school, loved to play soccer and enjoyed action movies.

"He's friends with everybody," Naranjo's cousin, Natalia Gomes, 14, said during an interview at Naranjo's home in the Heywood Place apartment complex at 206 Central St.

Naranjo lives in the apartment with his mother, Lina Maria Gomes, 31, and his stepfather, Hubert Taveras, 28.

"He liked to hang out with friends and stuff; he never got into trouble," Natalia Gomes continued.

Naranjo was born in Colombia, and moved to Fitchburg when he was 12, according to Natalia Gomes.

He lived on Hobson Street with his family, and graduated from Academy Middle School in 2004, then the family moved to Gardner and he attended Gardner High School last year, Natalia Gomes said.

Naranjo's mother was too upset to discuss the tragedy Wednesday morning.

Police say Naranjo "playfully" swung the 5-iron golf club at a fire hydrant at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Moran Street around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The impact snapped the club, and part of the metal rod flew into the air and punctured the boy's neck, according to police Det. Lt. Gerald J. Poirier.

Rescue crews responded to the scene after receiving a frantic 911 call from Naranjo's friend, and found the teen lying in the roadway, where another teen was applying direct pressure to the wound with a towel, according to Poirier.

Medics transported Naranjo to Heywood Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

"It was purely accidental," Poirier said during an interview at the police station. "I've never heard of such an accident. You could try that a thousand more times, and it probably wouldn't happen again."

Police are waiting for the medical examiners report to determine exactly how the wound managed to kill the boy, Poirier said.

Naranjo and his friends spent much of the summer hanging out at Naranjo's friend's house at 88 Pleasant St., directly across the street from the fire hydrant he hit with the golf club.

The teens went there to kick back, talk, play the guitar and skateboard around the neighborhood, according to John LeBlanc, a father who lives there with his two sons, Troy and Tyler, who were friends with Naranjo.

Naranjo and his friends found the old golf club ditched on the ground near 88 Pleasant St. earlier that evening, and began playing around with it, Naranjo's friend, Slade Lewis, 17, said during an interview at the home.

They took turns striking the fire hydrant, causing the club to bend and eventually snap.

Lewis immediately called 911 on his cell phone when the broken piece hit Naranjo, he said.

John LeBlanc rushed outside, and a group of people tried to slow the bleeding, but couldn't.

"These guys did everything they could," LeBlanc said.

The teens are now left dealing with the loss of their friend, whom they had only known since he met Troy LeBlanc, 15, in school six months ago.

LeBlanc said his son's circle of friends quickly accepted Naranjo, and grew to admire him.

"All these kids loved him," LeBlanc said, motioning to the group of about eight grim-faced teens who gathered at the house Wednesday. "He was a very well-liked kid, he was always polite. It was always, 'Thank you sir.'"

Naranjo's friends are trying to move on after Tuesday's incident, but they will remember Naranjo like the good person he was, said Kevin Gravelle, 18, of Gardner.

"We're tying to put it behind us, but he's still in our memory," Gravelle said.

Naranjo played on Gardner High School's junior varsity soccer team, which was scheduled to begin practicing at 8 a.m. today.

Gardner High School Principal Michael Baldassarre said grief counselors will be on hand at today's soccer practice, and will remain available through the beginning of the school year, which starts Aug. 31.

"It's not the way we want to start our school year," Baldassarre said. "Our prayers go out to the family. We're here for them."

Baldassarre has only been on the job since July 1, and never met Naranjo, he said.

But Naranjo's biology teacher, Scott Hemlin, described the teen as someone who always had a smile on his face.

"He acted as if it was his job to make everybody as happy as he was," Baldassarre said.

The Lamoureux-Fletcher Community Funeral Home in Gardner will be conducting Naranjo's funeral.

Calling hours will be at the funeral home at 105 Central St., from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday.

The funeral will take place at the funeral home on Monday at 9:45 a.m., and will be followed by a mass in Sacred Heart Church, 166 Cross St., Gardner at 11 a.m.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:13:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Darwin Award Candidate?




No. Just bad luck.

He smacked a hydrant with a golf club and it broke and a part stuck in his neck. That's just screwed up. I've done stuff that makes that look like, well, someone smacking a hydrant with a golf club. Darwin had nothing to do with this one. I'd call it "act of God" or "Karma".


Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:20:59 AM EST
If he was 30 it would be a Darwin candidate

As a teen it's just plain dumb luck gone bad .
Kids do stupid things as part of the learning curve .
Most times they get lucky like we all did as kids .

This one didn't and it's just sad
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:22:28 AM EST
Him and his friend were taking turns "playfully" hitting a hydrant
like it was a golf ball until the club bent back and eventually broke?
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:27:50 AM EST
how much do you want to bet they're gonna try to track down and sue the owner of the golf club?



BAN GOLF CLUBS! IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN!!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:27:50 AM EST
Gravelings, no other explanation.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:43:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By Stealth:

Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Darwin Award Candidate?




No. Just bad luck.

He smacked a hydrant with a golf club and it broke and a part stuck in his neck. That's just screwed up. I've done stuff that makes that look like, well, someone smacking a hydrant with a golf club. Darwin had nothing to do with this one. I'd call it "act of God" or "Karma".





Bad luck? His family (legals??) will sue the City and the maker of the golf club and be set for life here in the Land of Opportunity (to sue and make millions).
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:48:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 5:50:17 AM EST by krpind]

Originally Posted By NAM:
how much do you want to bet they're gonna try to track down and sue the owner manufacturer of the golf club?



Fixed......they will go after the money.

Note to self.......don't upgrade to those graphite shafts.

Edit note to self......if I do upgrade don't get pissed and hit a tree or fire hydrant.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:48:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:

Originally Posted By Stealth:

Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Darwin Award Candidate?




No. Just bad luck.

He smacked a hydrant with a golf club and it broke and a part stuck in his neck. That's just screwed up. I've done stuff that makes that look like, well, someone smacking a hydrant with a golf club. Darwin had nothing to do with this one. I'd call it "act of God" or "Karma".





Bad luck? His family (legals??) will sue the City and the maker of the golf club and be set for life here in the Land of Opportunity (to sue and make millions).



They come here to make money, not to work
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:59:09 AM EST
Wow.

That's wierd.

I don't think the family could have any real standing in court to sue the club maker. The maker, after all, can easily show that their club was never designed for, or intended to be used to hit fire hydrants. The club was designed to hit little round balls, and is perfectly safe if used to hit little round balls.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:01:14 AM EST
What's the PAR for a fire hydrant?

<­BR>

Se­riously, that's a bummer.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:08:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 6:09:27 AM EST by skid2964]

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
What's the PAR for a fire hydrant?

Seriously, that's a bummer.



Too bad he couldnt take a mulligan ....
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:10:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By chrome1:
If he was 30 it would be a Darwin candidate



Gotta get 'em before they reproduce. Thirty is usually too late.




Kids do stupid things as part of the learning curve .



Exactly. His learning curve wasn't fast enough.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:11:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By skid2964:

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
What's the PAR for a fire hydrant?

Seriously, that's a bummer.



Too bad he couldnt take a mulligan ....



A hole in one... neck.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:14:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:16:27 AM EST
4
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:18:52 AM EST
I remember reading somewhere that Smith & Wesson makes golf clubs (no kidding). Maybe it was pine tree castings (aka Ruger). Wait till the lawyers discover that!

Ban them. Ban them all. Particularly fire hydrants. How many people must die?

I am off to build a death clock billboard.

Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:20:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cheesebeast:
I remember reading somewhere that Smith & Wesson makes golf clubs (no kidding). Maybe it was pine tree castings (aka Ruger). Wait till the lawyers discover that!

Ban them. Ban them all. Particularly fire hydrants. How many people must die?

I am off to build a death clock billboard.




I think a large part of Ruger's profits are now from golf clubs.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:24:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By chrome1:
If he was 30 it would be a Darwin candidate

As a teen it's just plain dumb luck gone bad .
Kids do stupid things as part of the learning curve .
Most times they get lucky like we all did as kids .

This one didn't and it's just sad



No shit , when I think back on the dumb shit we did it's a wonder I'm alive . It sucks .

I saw a foriegn basketball player smack his own head into a wall because he was pissed . He broke his neck and down he goes .
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:26:06 AM EST
"If you're dumb, you gotta be tough"

Sounds like vandalizing public property to me.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:27:53 AM EST
sad news
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:29:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cheesebeast:
I remember reading somewhere that Smith & Wesson makes golf clubs (no kidding). Maybe it was pine tree castings (aka Ruger). Wait till the lawyers discover that!

Ban them. Ban them all. Particularly fire hydrants. How many people must die?

I am off to build a death clock billboard.





It is Ruger, they own Calloway golf clubs.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:30:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By napalm:

Originally Posted By chrome1:
If he was 30 it would be a Darwin candidate



Gotta get 'em before they reproduce. Thirty is usually too late.




Kids do stupid things as part of the learning curve .



Exactly. His learning curve wasn't fast enough.




Shit nowadays 11 can be to late.......
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:31:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By Stealth:

Originally Posted By Blue_Monkey:
Darwin Award Candidate?




I'd call it "act of God"




+1
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:32:43 AM EST
Now all golf clubs will be sold with dislaimers carved into the shaft.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:34:47 AM EST
The fire hydrant should have been equipped with a protective screen and warning signs in 10 languages. The city should have foreseen this...
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:36:29 AM EST
My first thought was "I wonder who they will sue".

How do we know the club is graphite?
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:38:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By CS223:

Sounds like vandalizing public property to me.



Bingo.

Notice how the news article failed to point this fact out.

If the little darling hadn't been vandalizing public property, he'd still be above the ground.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:38:57 AM EST
Ooopss! Looks like being a dumbass vandal caught up with him. Let's throw him a pity party....

"Playfully" hitting a fire hydrant? Hopefully one day they won't have a fire, and the department has
to pull line from way down the block because kids vandalized the hydrant in front of the house,
rendering it unserviceable for immediate use.....

Karma's a bitch!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:53:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 6:55:29 AM EST by Rocklock]

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
Now all golf clubs will be sold with dislaimers carved into the shaft.



This is kinda funny , I go the Central America on occasion . It takes about a day to wake up and realize there are no warning signs to tell you "that you could drown if you go in water over your head" .

I was walking down a sidewalk and an old man was sitting in a rocker and as I passed he said "Tis Tis Tis" and caught my atention about three steps from a 2 ' drop off !

Another time I steped on what I thought was a sidewalk.......fuckers put some concrete "slabs" each one about 2 " long over the sewy ditch . The pad tilts and you drop @ a foot " GODDAMNIT" (quick look about to see if anyone saw me ........they had ) I was lucky to have not broken something .

Edited to add both incidents were at night .

BUT thats why I like it , (after the second day and I wake up from living in toy land) , you can do pretty much what you want....but you are on your own .
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 6:58:28 AM EST
Golf Clubs should be BANNED. Even the ones without all the evil features.

That is just one of those freak things that happen. Sucks to hear. Sounds like he was actually one of the good kids.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:03:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By CS223:

Sounds like vandalizing public property to me.



Bingo.

Notice how the news article failed to point this fact out.

If the little darling hadn't been vandalizing public property, he'd still be above the ground.



Yep my thoughts exactly.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:09:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 7:09:48 AM EST by DasRonin]
Here... I fixed it!


Originally Posted By 22bad:
Him He and his friend were taking turns "playfully" "STUPIDLY" hitting VANDALIZING a hydrant like it was a golf ball OK TO DESTROY CITY PROPERTY until the club bent back and eventually broke and Karma kicked in?

Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:36:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By DasRonin:
Here... I fixed it!


Originally Posted By 22bad:
Him He and his friend were taking turns "playfully" "STUPIDLY" hitting VANDALIZING a hydrant like it was a golf ball OK TO DESTROY CITY PROPERTY until the club bent back and eventually broke and Karma kicked in?




I like your version better. At least it's accurate....
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:42:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
Now all golf clubs will be sold with dislaimers carved into the shaft.




ROFLMAO............

"Warning. Do not strike objects other than golf balls with this item. Serious injury or death may result. Use only under close adult supervision."


Watch for it....
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:51:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Wow.

That's wierd.

I don't think the family could have any real standing in court to sue the club maker. The maker, after all, can easily show that their club was never designed for, or intended to be used to hit fire hydrants. The club was designed to hit little round balls, and is perfectly safe if used to hit little round balls.



Attractive nuisance or...

Power of persuasion....the club spoke to me....
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:10:24 AM EST
If that was an assault golf club (used for assaulting golf balls), then shit will hit the fan in court, and the idgit's family will be set for life!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:12:34 AM EST
that's what he gets for playing a fire hydrant where it lays.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:45:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
What's the PAR for a fire hydrant?




Ask a dog.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:48:57 AM EST
Golf Clubs have killed more people then my guns..... Still... wow!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 9:07:17 AM EST
Ban golf clubs with rubber grips, ban graphite clubs that can pass through airport metal detectors, and ban golf clubs with bayonet lugs.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:17:15 PM EST
Vandalizing a fire hydrant? give me a break. Hitting one with a car on purpose is vandalizing one, hitting with a golf club is a dumb thing kids do.

Yeah doing dumb things can get you dead, but this is one of those aw shits, it sure doesn't rate a Darwin Award. This might be closer to catching a splinter from a breaking baseball bat in the neck or eye or ??.

You get a small hole in a major blood vessel and you can bleed out before anybody can help you.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:28:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:00:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

But most of us would have not been likely to imagine the potentially lethal consequences of striking a fire hydrant with a golf club.





i think it more likely that it never would have occurred to most people here to even try hitting a fire hydrant with a golf club.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:22:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 7:24:24 PM EST by Xer0]
As a kid I shattered more than a few wooden sticks and bent a few metal ones pretending they were swords against "enemy" objects like lamp poles, hydrants, other kid's swords, etc. The golf club was probably just another sword to that kid. He wasn't vandalizing anything, those kind of objects are pretty damn near invulnerable to anything short of a 2500lb car. As a kid, you see object like fire hydrants and such as indestructable objects used to test your "breakable" objects and skill at doing so. He wasn't thinking about vandalism as vandalism is about things that are breakable and will piss someone off. Fire hydrants are not (to a kid with hand held items weighing less than 15 lbs). If he had a mind for vandalism, it would have been a large hammer to swing. A golf club is just another fun to break thing.

This kid just got unlucky.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:25:01 PM EST
unlucky break
when I was about that age my parents had a pawn shop out back i was taking some trash out and there was a TV and a golf club laying next to the dumpster you can pretty much guess how that played out in a 13 year old mind.............I and the TV lived the golf club was not as lucky
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:24:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Someone with a lot of common sense AND a good background in physics might have known not to do that.


But most of us would have not been likely to imagine the potentially lethal consequences of striking a fire hydrant with a golf club.


This or something like it could happen to anyone dumb enough to whack a fire hydrant with a golf club in the first place


CJ



Fixed it for you.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:11:13 AM EST
this reminds me of a childhood neighborkid that i saw hit a basketball with a baseball bat. the basket ball never moved. the bat however cracked his skull at the forehead when it came rebounding back. right after he hit the ball, he just dropped unconcious to the ground. some people do stupid things.

d.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:19:59 AM EST
Now if that kid had been just hanging around with his buds enjoying a smoke or just inhaling some second-hand smoke this may never have happened. Damn smoking Nazis!!!
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:36:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By 22bad:
Teen's death stuns family, friends

Stunned by teenage stupidity?
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