Lawyer Fell Out of Skyscraper and Died Trying to Prove Its Windows Are ‘Unbreakable’
We would all like to die a natural death but oftentimes, death is pretty unpredictable, especially when it's caused by an accident, suicide, murder, war, natural disaster or a life-threatening disease. Sometimes, people die thanks to their sheer stupidity. A case in point is lawyer Garry Hoy who dug his own grave.
This highly-regarded lawyer's ignorant behavior should be crowned the most "foolish act' of the century. But since he is no more, he will not learn a lesson from it. Hoy was a reputed employee of Toronto's Holden Day Wilson law firm and although he worked as a lawyer, the bloke earned a degree in engineering, per UNILAD. His desired career path was to specialize in building safety and compliance. He had a passion for modern structures and construction techniques and was intrigued by the agility of contemporary architecture. Apparently, this interest resulted in his death and it is as tragic as it is silly.
The 38-year-old was highly respected among his peers and a bright future awaited him. Managing partner Peter Lauwers described Hoy as "one of the best and brightest" lawyers at the firm. As a successful corporate and securities lawyer, Hoy was at the pinnacle of his career. He acted first and thought later and was mildly reckless. His story began and ended on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower building. The skyscraper was built in 1969 and the structure's windows caught his attention.
He was so amazed by the building's tensile strength that he would often demonstrate tricks to show his peers how strong and almost "unbreakable" the skyscraper was. The lawyer got so carried away it became a routine for him. Safe to say, he enjoyed showing off a bit. The stunt involved Hoy throwing himself to the window with full force and he would bounce back every single time. But fate doesn't give you multiple chances. On July 9, 1993, his law firm threw a reception for newly-admitted law students interested in apprenticeship and it was the moment Hoy was waiting for. "It's my time to shine," he thought.
To impress the new lot, Mr. Lawyer performed his favorite stunt. As practiced countless times before, he threw his weight against the glass window to demonstrate how robust the building was. Luckily, he bounced back. But it didn't satisfy Hoy, so he did it again. This time, however, the window pane popped out and he flew out of it, colliding with a stone block in the courtyard. Ouch! The interns and other colleagues stood in absolute horror and shock while Hoy plunged 24 stories down and instantly died. The tragic 'accident' (should we even call it that?) was a nightmare for the onlookers.
The police arrived at the scene. "Hoy was showing his knowledge of the tensile strength of window glass and presumably, the glass gave way," explained one Toronto police officer. "I know the frame and the blinds are still there." A structural engineer, Bob Greer was also questioned by Toronto Star at the death scene and he declared, "I don't know of any building code in the world that would allow a 160-pound man to run up against a glass and withstand it."
Since it was an unusual death, it was classified as 'accidental auto-defenestration,' meaning throwing yourself out of a window by accident. Hoy later won a Darwin Award for his embarrassing demise. We can still hear Hoy turning in his grave and saying, "It was the frame that was at fault and failed...the glass didn't." After all, Hoy was trying to prove that the window glass wouldn't break if he threw himself against it.