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Home --> Horrors --> Freakish Fatalities --> Through a Glass, Quickly

Through a Glass, Quickly

Claim:   A lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a skyscraper crashed through a pane and plunged to his death.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 1998]

Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lauwers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association.

Origins:   On 9 July 1993, Garry Hoy, Falling man a 38-year-old lawyer with the Toronto law firm of Holden Day Wilson, did indeed plunge to his death from the 24th floor Toronto Dominion Bank Tower in front of several horrified witnesses.

The firm's spokesperson said Hoy "... was testing the strength of the window. There was a lot of joking about how the window wouldn't open maybe on a hot day ... Apparently, it was the second attempt [at testing the window] that one of them popped out and he went through."

As well, a Toronto police officer reported that Hoy "... was showing his knowledge of the tensile strength of window glass and presumably the glass gave way. I know the frame and the blinds are still there."

Our advice is to apply the same rule to architecture as you do to computers: Don't ever bet your life on windows not crashing.

Last updated:   21 January 2007

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2014 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson.
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  Sources Sources:
    Demara, Bruce.   "Corporate Lawyer Plunges 24 Floors to Death."
    The Toronto Star.   10 July 1993   (p. A4).