Rowland V. Bingham, founder of the Sudan Interior Mission, was once seriously injured
in an automobile accident. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The
following day, when he regained consciousness, he asked the nurse what he was doing there.
"Don't try to talk now, just rest," she replied. "You have been in an
accident." "Accident? Accident!" exclained Dr. Bingham. "There are no
accidents in the life of a Christian. This is just an incident in God's perfect
(Response to an insurance company) I am writing in response to your request for
additional information. In block #3 of the accident form, I put "trying to
do the job
alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more
fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by
trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six story
building. When I completed my work, I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick
Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a
pulley which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the 6th floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded
the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly
to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick.
You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weight 135 pounds. But to by
surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot
to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of
the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This
explains the fractured skull, and broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my
rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into
the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to
hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my pain.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the
bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed
approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block #11.
As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the
vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two
fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs, and lower body area. The encounter with
the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and
fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks, in pain . . . unable
to stand . . . and watching the empty barrel six stories above me . . . I again lost my
presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so
it came back down on me, and broke both my legs.
I hope I have furnished the information you have required.