This is one of those times when we here at Giant Freakin’ Robot are not at all glad to be reporting news, but we’re quite invested in making sure the story we’re reporting on remains an exception, and not the rule. This past Thursday, 19-year-old Queens, New York resident Roman Pirozek was killed during a freak accident involving the remote-controlled helicopter he was operating at the time. While perhaps not as dangerous as drones and their ilk, this is an obvious cautionary tale for hobbyists who may not recognize how dangerous these “toys” can be.
In a Brooklyn park popular among model helicopter enthusiasts, Pirozek was out with his father, doing what he normally did, when his $2,000 RC copter struck him, actually “cutting off the top of his head” according to the law enforcement official handling the case. Three or four other people were in the area when the accident happened, and he was pronounced dead on the scene.
This is pretty fucking depressing, folks. There is a part of me that stands in awe, picturing things as if in a movie, where a guy is able to skullcap himself with what is essentially expensive recreational equipment. I dare not call it a toy, especially in this situation. One gets so sick of dumb shit happening in the name of entertainment that honest-to-God accidents don’t even seem possible anymore. The tweet below shows the mangled helicopter next to the officer on duty.
photo: detectives looking at remote control helicopter that killed 19 y/o near Coney Island. pic.twitter.com/SP6Hx17BjO
— Shimon Prokupecz (@shimon4ny) September 5, 2013
A 2012 graduate from the High School For Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture, Pirozek was currently a cargo handler for an airline. He was remembered by his sister Amy as “the best person ever. He had the biggest heart…He was a good brother. I’ll never forget that.” His 68-year-old neighbor, Dennis Farley, is quoted as saying “He went to good parts of the country to shows — he loved it. It was his father’s hobby and he picked it up from him. His father must be destroyed.” I can’t even imagine.
As seen on his now-defunct Facebook page, Pirozek was an enthusiast when it came to model copters, and nearly every post and photo on there was in reference to the hobby. The video below was posted to his YouTube page on July 22.
Ugh. That was a really cool video for what it’s worth, and it’s obvious why people love that park. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Pirozek’s family and friends during this mournful period.