Last Call- Wild Bill In The Wild Blue Yonder Edition

Bill Cassidy
“Wild” Bill Cassidy survived this nightmare-inducing crash at Arden Downs in Washington Pennsylvania, however he did receive seriously injuries as its result. Occurring on July 12, 1936, this was well before seat belts, roll bars, or pretty much any safety equipment was seen as a necessary part of a race car. Back then the thinking was that it was better to be thrown from the crash rather than risk being crushed or crumpled in the wreckage. As evidenced by this perfectly timed photo, it likely wasn’t.
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 
Image: ThisIsntHappiness

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  1. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

    Good to know that he lived at least. I've seen this photo before but never knew the story or the outcome of it.

  2. Metric Wrench Avatar
    Metric Wrench

    Yup. And to this day, here in the midwest, many people still cling to the thinking that seatbelts will surely result in your gruesome death. "Yup, I heard it straight from Joe-Bob, the state trooper told him himself, if he'd had his seatbelt on he would have got it, but luckily he was thrown from the crash and didn't get himself decapitated/burned alive/drowned/impaled/crushed/etc."
    When my company finally got serious about seat belt infractions and threatened immediate termination, half of me coworkers bought those little combination hammer – seat belt cutters and mounted them in the trucks. I'm waiting for someone to roll a truck and get whacked in the head by the loose hammer combo tool…

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      One of my first moments of being accepted as a non-kid, almost-grownup is connected to this theme. We were at a wedding or something like that when I was 14. People had this big table conversation, "better be thrown out, yada yada", when I just couldn't let it pass anymore. I just had to give them the basics of crash technology, why you would want to be locked inside a safe cage, and the wonders of airbags. Sort of won the discussion. If we had had gifs like the rolling Explorer 20 years ago, there would have been no need for talking.
      Fantastic image above, btw! Very good to know that he made it.

    2. LEROOOY Avatar

      <img src=""&gt;
      "Jim, Bob, and Jimbob all got thrown to safety but the cases of Sudafed tablets was destroyed."

      1. rennsport964 Avatar

        (I'm still giggling)

  3. Tomsk Avatar

    The other reason drivers wanted to be thrown clear in those days – and maybe the one they were more concerned about than being crushed in the wreckage – was fire.

  4. Lokki Avatar

    Whenever I see a serious racing accident, I always think of Craig Breedlove and his famous 'Spirit Of America' crash-
    "Breedlove and Spirit of America were not to take this lying down. Almost immediately on October 13 the improved tricycle/car took the record back, setting a relatively easy 468.72mph record. However, he knew more was possible and two days later he made another pair of runs, aiming to put the record firmly over 500. Having broken his own record and raising it to 526.28mph he left the measured mile to slow down and lost a drag parachute. The wheel brakes had no chance of stopping the car from above 150, let alone 500 and promptly vaporised. the Spirit veered off course, sliced through a telegraph pole and eventually landed in a brine lake, more than five miles from the planned stopping point. Breedlove swam ashore unscathed joking "..and for my next trick.. I'll set myself on fire!"

    1. monkey_tennis Avatar

      Great story.
      But for every miraculous escape there are more like Malcolm Campbell, who didn't swim ashore. RIP Malcolm.
      <img src="×740.jpg&quot; width="600">

  5. ConstantReader Avatar

    Reminds me of a similar picture in Life magazine many years ago. In it, the driver is thrown clear and you can see the lower part of his leg thrown in another direction.