A ham writing a letter to his insurance company explaining a recent
"I am writing in response to your request for additional information in block
No. 3 of your Accident Reporting Form. I submitted "poor-planning" caused the
accident. You say in your letter to explain "more fully". I trust the
following information will prove to be sufficient.
I am an amateur radio operator, and on the day of the of the accident I was at
work on the top section of my 100 foot tower. When I had completed my work,
I discovered that, over the course of many trips up and down the tower, I had
brought up about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry
the now-unneeded tools down by hand I decided to lower them using a small
barrel and my "gin pole" still attached to the top of the tower.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up the tower and filled the barrel.
I then went back to ground level and untied the rope, holding it tightly, to
insure a slow descent of the 300 pound load. You will notice in block No. 11
that I had given my weight as 150 pounds. Due to my surprise at being suddenly
jerked off the ground at such a rapid rate, I momentarily lost my presence of
mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a
rather rapid rate up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 50 foot
level, I met the swiftly descending barrel. This explains my fractured collar
After momentarily slowing, I resumed my rapid ascent, not stopping until my
hands were three knuckles deep in the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had
regained my composure and managed to hold onto the rope despite the
excruciating pain. At about this time, however, the loaded barrel hit the
ground and the bottom fell out ofthe barrel. Now, without the 300 pounds of
tools, the barrel only weighed about 15 pounds. I refer you again to my weight
in block No. 11. As you might imagine, I began a swift plunge down the side
of the tower. Again, at about the 50 foot level, I met the barrel coming up.
This accounts for my two fractured ankles and the lacerations on my legs,
thighs, and lower body. The barrel encounter slowed me enough to lessen my
impact with the pile of tools and hardware and I was extremely fortunate to
escape with only a fractured coccyx and three crushed vertebrae.
I regret to report, however, that as I lay there on the pile of tools in
excruciating pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel, 100 feet
above me, that I again let go of the rope, and .........!"