Family Dog Suspected Cause Of Miniature Chuck-Wagon Disaster

Top Headlines

Local

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...

Fast Food Drive-Thru Just Cow Carcass, Bucket For Money

VENTURA, CA—Calling it the ultimate combination of freshness, value, and convenience, local fast food chain Sunshine Burger announced that, beginning this week, its regular drive-thru windows would be replaced by a cow carcass and a bucket for money...

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 

Disgusting Couple Always Interacting In Public

MINNEAPOLIS—Saying the pair was making everyone nearby feel uncomfortable, onlookers stated Wednesday they were disgusted by local couple Tyler Meacham and Caitlyn Ashford’s habit of interacting in public.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Protection

  • Guards Gun Down Four Angels Escaping From Heaven

    THE HEAVENS—Killing four and critically wounding several others, armed guards dispatched from the Right Hand of God reportedly opened fire early Monday morning on a group of angels attempting to escape from heaven. One of the Eternal Kingdom’s...

Family Dog Suspected Cause Of Miniature Chuck-Wagon Disaster

SAN JOSE, CA—Though Federal Microvehicular Safety Administration officials stress that it is still too early to draw definitive conclusions, a family dog is widely regarded as the probable cause of the miniature chuck-wagon disaster that shocked the nation last Wednesday.

The wreckage from last week's fatal miniature chuck-wagon crash in a San Jose, CA, kitchen. Investigators have ruled out driver error and now believe the disaster to be dog-related.

According to an FMSA report released Monday, the crash—which resulted in the deaths of the chuck wagon's miniature driver and four passengers, as well as the loss of more than one pound of hearty "Chuck Wagon"-brand gravy-flavored dog-food cargo and a team of four miniature draft horses—is "in all likelihood" attributable to the presence of one or more pet dogs in the kitchen at the time of the accident.

"Preliminary studies of the chuck-wagon wreckage, combined with analysis of data recovered from the miniscule carriage's 'black box,' strongly suggest that, unknown to chuck-wagon traffic-controllers monitoring the wagon's progress, the kitchen was occupied by at least one pet animal, probably a dog, which pursued and overtook the chuck wagon in the final moments before it vanished from radar screens," FMSA chief Vincent Renaldo said.

In the 48 hours immediately following the disaster, safety investigators examined a wide variety of on-site evidence. The chuck wagon's original fuselage, scattered across an approximate four-tile area of linoleum in the "breakfast nook" region of the kitchen, was painstakingly reassembled by FMSA investigators in an attempt to better understand the events leading up to the crash.

The rebuilt chuck wagon's key structural elements—particularly the glue-fastened wooden dowels used as tiny spokes in the load-bearing miniature wagon wheels; the itsy-bitsy swing-axle steering rack; and the teensy-weensy whip used to make the miniature horsies accelerate in times of danger—were then subjected to a battery of stress tests in an effort to determine whether equipment failure or driver error was to blame.

Scruffers

While the tests are still not complete, FMSA officials say the discovery of a two-inch "bite radius" breaching the chuck wagon's hull along the right side indicates severe canine mastication, strongly supporting the dog-attack hypothesis.

"The old saw about how 'The great taste of Chuck Wagon stops dogs in their tracks' has taken on grim new overtones in light of these findings," Renaldo said.

Though Chuck Wagon Transit Authority officials insist that proper safety procedures were followed during the chuck wagon's fateful final voyage, a number of dog-food-industry whistleblowers are coming forward in the wake of the crash, insisting that such a tragedy was inevitable given the CWTA's longtime failure to address serious driver-safety issues.

"This sort of thing happens all the time," said former miniature-chuck-wagon driver Randall "Tex" West, who claims he was fired by Chuck Wagon Transit after refusing to do any more kitchen runs until the dog problem was addressed. "I can't tell you how many times a chuck wagon will tear through a kitchen, hell-bent for leather, hootin' and hollerin' to beat the devil, with a happy, hungry hound right on his tail, just inches behind."

Continued West: "A lot of these drivers consider it kind of a 'macho' thing to see how close they can cut it before zipping under the kitchen counter into the dog-food bag at the last minute, leaving the puzzled mutt wondering where all them tasty treats disappeared to. Sure, it seems kind of funny at first, the way the dog looks around and blinks, like it can't figure out where that old chuck wagon up and went all of a sudden. But when something like this happens, it's a damn shame."

Two-inch-tall wagon-driver Roy "Speedy" Sanders agreed, but noted that thrill-seeking drivers are not the only reason for the increased risk of accidents. According to Sanders, ever-increasing dog-food delivery quotas leave drivers with no choice but to speed.

"It's impossible to pull off the typical dog-food-delivery schedule and meet federal safety standards at the same time," Sanders said. "Every day, in kitchens across the U.S., drivers run their teams at full gallop through routes that traffic-control knows damn well are dog-occupied. But the traffic controllers look the other way, because, if they didn't, delivery quotas would never be met. Drivers whip their teams up to full speed and chance it, hoping either to outrun or out-maneuver the dog, figuring they can always pivot at the last minute and send the animal sliding across the linoleum if it gets too close. That way, management is happy, and they get to keep their jobs."

Though Chuck Wagon Transit authorities have cooperated with investigators, the group's official position remains that last Wednesday's crash was an isolated incident that is in no way symptomatic of a larger safety problem.

FMSA investigators, however, are not so certain.

"The kitchen in question is a well-established nap-zone for a mid-sized mutt named Scruffers, and we have solid evidence demonstrating that the driver regularly made a practice of exceeding his wagon's per-axle cargo limit by as much as 20 to 30 bite-sized chunks," FMSA special investigator Richard Sobell said. "Dogs like Scruffers can't corner as well as chuck wagons on your basic no-wax kitchen-tile surfacing; their greater mass gives them more inertia, making it harder for them to turn, especially if they're running at a full sprint."

"Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, your skilled miniature-wagon-handler can pull it off," said Sobell, looking out over the crash site. "But that hundredth time? That's the one these hot-shot drivers need to start seriously thinking about."