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5 True-Life Stories of Gutters Gone Wrong

By May 21, 2012No Comments


You know that a reality television program is going to be exciting if you can imagine its title with an exclamation point on the end of it. Like “Mega Disasters!” Or “Wildest Police Chases!” Or maybe “When Animals Attack!” Or how about “Hogs Gone Wild!” (Yes, all of these are or were real/ice-dam-prevention/ shows.)

Well, here’s a reality show idea that will fit right in with these “exclamatory” titles: “Gutters Gone Wrong!”

The premise is simple: reveal and examine true stories of people getting attacked, injured, or killed by cleaning out their gutters or by the gutters themselves. Here’s the good news: the first five episodes are already written, based on real-life events which have already been recorded. And here are the catchy titles.

1. Gutter Bites Back!

A 74-year-old man was engaging in the regular maintenance of cleaning his gutters. He was up on a ladder when a gutter targeted him, bided its time, and then fell on the man’s face, using its razor-sharp edges to cause a laceration. As this photo shows, the gentleman needed several stitches to close a wound next to his right eye.

2. What an Ice Surprise!

A Connecticut man and his wife were in their backyard shortly after a heavy Northeast storm had blown through. While the couple was taking stock of their yard, the devious, ice-filled gutter chose that very moment to detach from the house and plummet toward the ground. It narrowly missed the woman’s head before slamming itself into a helpless barbecue grill.

3. Stand or Fall? It’s the Ladder!

This video is a perfect illustration of what happens thousands of times each year across the U.S. A person is up on his or her ladder cleaning the gutters, and the evil-and-unstable ladder tilts or collapses, spilling the victim unceremoniously onto the ground. The man in the video looks mostly okay, but many others break bones, sustain concussions, or even die.

4. Gutter Cleaner Atop Australian PM’s House Winds Up Down Under!

Even heads of state need their gutters cleaned. When a worker was performing that function at the home of the Prime Minister of Australia a few years ago, he slipped and fell “several metres” to the ground. His injuries were severe enough to require transport by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

5. Canadian Gutter Installers Make Shocking Discovery!

Spoiler alert: the discovery was that metal gutters conduct electricity. A work crew was putting up gutters on a three-story apartment building in British Columbia. One man climbed up a tall ladder holding one end of the 56-foot long gutter, while his colleague stood on the roof holding the middle of the gutter section. But as the end of the section became more elevated as the man climbed, the other end moved downward on the roof — and struck some nearby power lines. The man on the ladder was knocked from the gutter and fell about 22 feet to his death. (The other man didn’t feel anything at all).