December 4, 2009, Newsletter Issue #104: Death By Suitcase

Tip of the Week

Luggage, of course, is not usually malevolent on its own, and these days TSA screeners remove anything remotely deadly (including hand lotion, but never mind that). However, there are cases where suitcases have been implicated in unfortunate deaths.

The pop singer Aaliyah, flying from the Bahamas to Miami in 2001, died along with eight others when the plane crashed about 200 feet from the runway. Investigators said the pilot had been asked to leave some luggage behind, and blamed the weight of the plane for the crash.

In 1940, radio star Tom Mix also died thanks to a suitcase that bounced onto his head while he was driving his beloved roadster. Investigators said Mix had ignored warnings about a bridge that was out due to road work. The Arizona gully where he died was named after him, and the suitcase can be seen at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma.

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