Man Dies Under Vehicle After Car Jack Fails

July 10, 2018 15:00 pm · 25 comments

This isn’t near Claycord, but it’s a good reminder to always check to make sure your car jack is in good condition, and is locked in place before you go under your vehicle.

A 54-year-old man died Monday night while working underneath a vehicle in Healdsburg, police said.

A jack underneath the vehicle released or failed and the man, a Healdsburg resident, was crushed by the vehicle, Sgt. Hector Altamirano said.

Police responded to the accident around 8:45 p.m. Police called the Healdsburg Fire Department and the Sonoma County coroner’s office, Altamirano said.

Hmm July 10, 2018 at 3:01 PM

This is an unfortunate accident that was entirely avoidable. Never work under the car unless your Jack has a lock or using Jack Stands. Even with Jack stands only do minimal work as even they arent 100% stable.

Frank Faragasso July 11, 2018 at 11:21 AM

Absolutely correct. Jack stands are cheap. I always use at least 2.

WC July 10, 2018 at 3:02 PM

NEVER go under a vehicle with just a jack. Get jack stands or ramps. Make sure the parking brake is on and chock your wheels just in case.

Simonpure July 10, 2018 at 3:07 PM

Floor jacks are never enough. Always use jack stands as well. 54 is way too early to go. RIP

Life, Liberty and Property July 10, 2018 at 3:13 PM

Rest in peace. I’m in the auto repair business and have seen too many accidents. Jack stands are not optional when working under a vehicle. The jack provided with your car is designed for changing a flat ONLY and most people these days should be calling roadside assistance or tow truck.

Not Sure July 10, 2018 at 3:17 PM

Never use a floor jack to support vehicle while working on it, make sure you are using jack stands to support it instead after lifting vehicle with the floor jack. This is a warning label on every single floor jack out there about this.

ZZ July 10, 2018 at 3:37 PM

How horrible, I’m so sorry this happened. Poor guy, prayers to the loved ones

Original G July 10, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Tell every new hire Is not IF something will go wrong, it is a matter of when.
You ALWAYS use stands or stacks of wood blocks capable of supporting more than the vehicle’s weight.

honda bill July 10, 2018 at 4:05 PM

in most cases you have 1 or more wheel and tire assemblies off the car. times I have worked outside of a garage with a lift I have slid the tire/wheel under the vehicle so if it does fall down it will not go all the way to the ground. its there, use it.

biggus thinkus July 10, 2018 at 10:59 PM

@ honda, “resourcefulness” , or “practical thinking”
and no i’m not a troll, i’m a believer! safe improv. done it myself

Willis July 10, 2018 at 3:58 PM

Unsure of the details with this tragedy, but you should always use correctly placed jack stands when working under a vehicle. The vehicle should be lowered with the jack until it’s firmly resting on the jack stands, and tested by shaking the vehicle before crawling under. You should also periodically check the condition of your jack stands for broken welds and for a worn locking latch. It’s best you use the stands that have the latch and a cross pin as a backup. Lastly, never trust the factory jack. These are made for emergency tire changes only.

Ricardoh July 10, 2018 at 3:59 PM

When I was a kid and still worked on cars I used railroad ties. You jack the car up, put the ties under, and then let the jack down so it sits on the ties. Then you shake the car real hard and if it doesn’t fall down you can get under it. Hard to believe a 54 year old man would get under a car held up by a jack.

Atticus Thraxx July 10, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Terrible. I think the Russian kid who played Chekov in the new Star Trek movies died the same way.
Single most useful safety advice I got when I started out in my field I still remember and quote to young-uns I work near.
Risk assessment IS NOT a calculation of the likelihood on a undesirable outcome, it IS a calculation of the consequences of an undesirable outcome.

Mr Goodwrench July 10, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Spend the money on a good jack. When jacking up always keep out of the area of possible impact. Invest in some good jack stands or use blocks or a ramp. And have a secondary support just in case. I had a cheap jack come down on me, what saved me was keeping low out of harms way. Now I have a 2 ton Hein Werner USA Jack. The time of danger is when you are putting jack stands under the car…Keep Low….And always be ready for that car to come down.

Chicken Little July 10, 2018 at 6:02 PM

ALWAYS use jack stands when working under a car. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned that yet.

RIP, young man. I hope you didn’t suffer long.

SeeK July 10, 2018 at 8:06 PM

Huh? At least Half of the replies mentioned jack stands.

BOOYAH! July 10, 2018 at 10:16 PM

Recognize sarcasm when you see it.

Dr Jellyfinger July 10, 2018 at 9:31 PM

Every home garage should be built with a mandatory grease pit…. really.

Dawg July 10, 2018 at 11:23 PM

It wouldn’t do any good, people would use the grease pit as a storage area and fill it up with boxes and junk.

Dr Jellyfinger July 11, 2018 at 8:03 AM

Well…. I suppose there would have to be a MAN IN CHARGE to keep that kind of foolishness under control…..

Silva July 11, 2018 at 8:33 AM

Towing companies would make a good business pulling vehicles out of them.

AlwaysUseStands July 10, 2018 at 11:00 PM

Reminder to ALWAYS use jack stands. Also, I like to have the jack under he car too, but not supporting the weight. This is a backup in the rare event a jack stand fails, it could save your life

The Mamba July 11, 2018 at 7:37 AM

*nods* I’ve seen it in the Fast and the Furious movies too.

Mimi (original) July 11, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Oh dear G*d!! How awful!! I pray he did not suffer long. Many years ago an acquaintance’s husband died the same way. Horrible, horrible tragedy. Prayers for his loved ones and friends.

Betterchoice July 12, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Please pass the word around about this sad tragedy.
I always put my extra jack stand, under the frame or any solid surface under my vehicle even when I use my ramps.
No matter how in a hurry you are, use safety first.
There should be something on YouTube about working under a vehicle safely.

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