Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Siblings are coincidentally killed in related automobile accidents.
Example: [Associated Press, 2002]
Origins: The phenomenon we loosely term "coincidence" comprises many classes of events: the happy (long-lost lovers rediscover each other by accident), the amusing (a potato grows in a shape resembling Richard Nixon's profile), the mundane (neighbors share the same birthday), the fortuitous (a hunch bet on a roulette wheel pays off), the eerie (a man is hit and killed by a car he'd sold ten years earlier), the life-saving (a last-minute change in travel plans heads off disaster) — and the tragic.
The November 2002 incident described above, in which two Alabama sisters out to visit each other were both killed when their Jeeps collided
Another form of tragic automobile accident-related coincidence involving siblings took place in October 2005, when 32-year-old Perry Harrell of Florence, South Carolina, died in a four-wheeler accident. Three days later, his widow and other family members were puzzled when Perry's brother, Larry Harrell, failed to show up at the funeral. A few hours later they learned that a traffic-clogging automobile accident they had passed on the highway while returning home from the services had claimed Larry's life as well — he had been killed in a car crash while driving to his brother's funeral.
Although they weren't connected in any causal way, another set of accidents occurring in December 2005 claimed the life of siblings at about the same time and place. In the early morning hours of
(Subsequent investigation revealed that the McDowell brothers had been in a bar with their father before the crashes, and both had blood alcohol levels far above the legal limit at the time of their accidents.)
An eerily similar pair of accidents involving Steven Kerr, 37, and his brother, Jeremy Kerr, 29, took place in Pennsylvania on
Last updated: 7 August 2006
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.