A Missouri man has died in a freak accident at a Jack-In-The-Box drive-through, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting.
Charles Wood Jr., 20, had gone to one of the burger chain’s St. Louis locations on Wednesday night when the accident occurred. Authorities say that Wood had pulled up to the drive-through window to pay, but he couldn’t lean far enough out of his car’s window to reach the counter, so he opened the door and leaned out. Unfortunately, his car was in reverse at the time, for reasons that remain unclear, and his foot hit the accelerator. His vehicle lurched backward, pinning him against a tree, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis, via People.
“He evidently placed his car in reverse and accelerated, causing his car to go backwards and strike a tree, pinning him between the car and the tree.”
Wood suffered devastating injuries to his head, neck, and torso. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.
As of this writing, the company has declined requests for comment from the media. Similarly, when a Post-Dispatch reporter contacted the restaurant directly for comment, whoever answered the phone declined to comment.
A remarkably similar accident claimed the life of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin back in 2016. As The L.A. Times reported at the time, Yelchin was at his Studio City, California home when his Jeep rolled down a steep driveway, pinning Yelchin between the vehicle and the security gate of his home. It is unclear how long he was pinned there, but the pressure of the vehicle against his chest made it impossible for him to breathe, and he later died of traumatic asphyxia.
“Anton Yelchin was crushed and lingered alive for some time, trapped and suffocating until his death.”
Yelchin apparently thought his vehicle was in park, when in fact it was not. It would later be revealed in court that Jeep had recalled 1.1 million vehicles because the gear shifters were confusing drivers, leading to users leaving the vehicle in reverse, neutral or drive when they thought it was in park, causing it to roll and leading to several injuries.
Yelchin’s family filed a lawsuit.
“In spite of our unbelievable grief, we decided to come here to prevent other families from the same tragedy.”
The suit was later settled out of court.
As of this writing, it is not clear what sort of vehicle Charles Wood was in when he was killed.