Fact Check

Arm Lost in Accident

Did a man who lost his arm in an accident fail to notice it until 40 minutes later?

Published Dec 31, 1998

Claim:   A man who lost his arm in an accident failed to notice it until 40 minutes later.


Origins:   Making no claims as to the story's veracity, I merely present this item from a 1955 newspaper article:

DETROIT, July 16 — Kenneth

Jobe, 44, thrown into a state of shock by a freak accident in which his left arm was torn off at the shoulder, drove his car about Detroit suburbs for more than 40 minutes before he realized he had lost it.

Jobe's arm, protruding from the window of his car, had struck the end of a power shovel being hauled on a flat-bed truck.

The blow ripped off his arm, which dropped to the pavement. While witnesses watched, his car swerved slightly and then went on.

Police were summoned and they conducted a fruitless search.

He drove eight miles and finally stopped at a grocery store, where people gazed in astonishment at his bleeding shoulder, then called police again.

Jobe said he doesn't remember the accident, but said he just remembers looking down and noticing his arm was gone. Then he stopped his car.

His condition was reported satisfactory today.

Barbara "on the other hand . . ." Mikkelson

Last updated:   14 April 2011


    Los Angeles Times.   "Arm Torn Off, Driver Goes on 40 Minutes; Too Dazed to Notice."

    17 July 1955   (p. 1).