When Charles Wood, Jr. couldn’t quite reach his food at the drive-thru window, he did what most of us would do. He opened the door and leaned out. It was a fatal error.


As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, Wood was visiting a Jack in the Box restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri on the evening of September 26. The 20-year-old had pulled up to the drive-thru window at an angle, which meant that he couldn’t reach his food from inside the car.

That’s when Wood opened the door to his car and leaned out in the effort to get his food from the drive-thru worker. Unfortunately, police say that Wood’s car was in reverse at the time. As Wood tried to reach for the food, he accidentally stepped on the accelerator. The car then lurched backwards, pinning the young man against a tree.

The accident caused grave injuries to Wood’s neck, head, legs, and torso. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Though police are investigating, they are calling it an accidental death.

Wood’s shocked friends and family are overwhelmed at the sudden and unexpected loss. A close friend told KMOV News:

“Everybody loved him. We’re just taking it day by day. I’m so used to him texting me first thing in the morning. I didn’t get that text this morning. I just sat in bed and started crying.”

According to USAlaw.com, freak accidents in the drive-thru are rare compared to rear-end “bumps” and road rage incidents. However, to stay safe, drive slowly and be patient while getting your food. Put your car in park when you stop to place your order or pick up your food. That way, you won’t have to worry about keeping your foot on the brake while you’re distracted by the purchase.

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