Fact Check

Does a Wrecking Ball Smash a Van in This Video?

A video showing a wrecking ball smashing into a passing van is very convincing.

Published March 9, 2010

Video clip shows a wrecking ball smashing into a passing van.

The video clip below looks like something that might have come from a live action version of a Road Runner cartoon: Wile E. Coyote, having set up an ACME brand wrecking ball to knock out the Road Runner, takes off in a Dodge van in anticipation of retrieving his prey, only (as usual) to become the hapless victim of his own plot.


The video below shows a rather shocking accident where a wrecking ball hits a passing SUV. We wonder if this is authentic (as represented on the Internet) or part of a movie shoot.

For one thing, few spectators go running over to see if anyone survived the hit and the construction workers aren't running to the scene, either. Secondly, would an SUV hit by a wrecking ball roll and flip like that?

I could find no reference to where the video originated, date, etc.

Although it has nothing to do with those cartoon characters, this video clip does indeed capture a stunt staged for a movie shoot, not a real accident. In late 2009, a film crew set up the van-smashing wrecking ball scene on the streets of New York City as part of a shoot for the action-comedy flick The Other Guys, starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell as a pair of New York City detectives who "seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize — only things don't quite go as planned."

The photograph below shows the film crew at the site of the shoot:


Sharkey, Joe.   "The Wreck and the Reckoning."     The Sunday Times Magazine.   26 November 2006.

Reuters.   "Air France Jet Missing Over Atlantic."     1 June 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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