This bizarre incident comes out of Spokane, Washington, where a track coach was unfortunately killed by a bowling pin machine.
The death of heralded running coach and Spokane Community College instructor Erik Anderson in a bizarre bowling alley accident left the school and Northwest track community devastated Thursday. Anderson, 38, died instantly when a pin machine broke his neck. He was in the pit behind the bowling lane, trying to dislodge a pin.
He had been teaching a bowling class in the five-lane basement alley of SCC’s student activities center (Lair Student Center) when the accident occurred about 11:30 a.m. The approximately 25 students in the class learned of his death soon after when a maintenance worker found his body. Steve LeBlanc, a student who works in the bowling alley, said the lane had problems with pins sticking and it was common for people to go to the bowling pin machine area and unjam them.
Pin machines are extremely dangerous. Take this interview with a guy who had a close encounter:
I actually fell in front of the pins once while someone was bowling and got whacked in the ankle pretty hard. More recently, I wasn’t paying attention to the rake while I was running a machine and it swept my legs right out from underneath me, flipping me back and onto the back of my neck and shoulders, then came back to punch me in the top of my head. I seriously didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.