MAN DIES IN FREAK ACCIDENT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Nov. 13) -- A 39-year-old Charlottesville man died Thursday in a freak
accident involving his washing machine. According to police
reports, Samuel Randolph Strickson was doing laundry when he
tried to speed up the process. Strickson apparently tried to
stuff approximately 50 pounds of laundry into his washing
machine by climbing on top of the washer and attempting to
force the clothing into the basin. Strickson then apparently
accidentally kicked the washing machine's ON button. When the
machine turned on, Strickson lost his balance and both feet
went down into the machine, where they got stuck.
The machine started its cycle, and Strickson, unable to free
himself, started thrashing around as the machine's agitator
went into gear. Strickson's head banged against a nearby
shelf in the laundry room, knocking over a bottle of bleach,
which poured over Strickson's face, blinding him.
Forensic reports say Strickson apparently also swallowed some
of the bleach. He then vomited, but was still unable to free
himself. Strickson's dog, then apparently came into the
laundry room. At about the same time, according to police, a
large box of baking soda fell from the shelf, startling the
dog, who then urinated. Urine, like vinegar, is acidic, and
the chemical reaction between the urine and the baking soda
resulted in "a small explosion," according to police reports.
The dog, however, escaped unharmed. Strickson remained stuck
in the washing machine, which eventually went into its
high-speed spin cycle, spinning Strickson around at about 70
miles per hour, according to forensic experts. Strickson's
head then smashed against a steel beam behind the washing
machine, immediately killing him.
A neighbor heard the commotion and called 911, but Strickson
was pronounced dead at the scene.