That’s a Minnesota kind of story

If only we had video of this daredevil stunt.

By daylight, it was clear what happened: The man blew through the stop sign at a T in the road, barreled through a yard and launched his car off a 35-foot to 40-foot embankment, clearing a span of open water on Lake Le Homme Dieu. before landing on the season’s remaining ice, Armstrong said.

The man, James Sundby, 38, of Wadena, had no drugs or alcohol in his system and he doesn’t remember what happened, said Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels.

The guy then staggered into a nearby stranger’s house, turned on all the lights and the TV, and proceeded to relax until he was chased away.

I’m just impressed with how far his car had to fly to clear that open water.


(Alexandria, by the way, is the next big (pop 9000!) city to the north of Morris — we go there fairly often. Now I’m feeling challenged to try the Sundby Leap, though.)


  1. jstackpo says

    He was just demonstrating that gravity “is just a theory”, like evolution.

    Looks like he did an adequate demonstration.

  2. Usernames! (╯°□°)╯︵ ʎuʎbosıɯ says

    had no drugs or alcohol in his system and he doesn’t remember what happened

    I wonder if there’s some sort of physiological event or disorder that could explain this?

    The description of events sounds like things a drunk person could/would do – extremely reckless driving, staggering around, going to the wrong house, etc., and then not remembering a thing later.

    Some symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy (caused by a thiamine deficiency) are similar to what happened to this guy. Not saying that’s what he has, just that there are possible explanations other than ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  3. says

    Traumatic memory loss is more likely. He must have been sure he was going to die as he dropped 30+ feet at high speed into a lake, and then, bam, that must have been a ferocious collision with the ice.

  4. says

    I know someone who had an undiagnosed blood sugar problem, passed out at the wrong time, and woke up in a tree in a pickup truck. Turns out when cops ask you “how did you get the truck up there?!” they don’t like to accept “I don’t know” for an answer. (fortunately, everything worked out fine for everyone)

    There’s an old joke “I hope I die quietly in my sleep like my grandpa did, not kicking and screaming like all the people who were in the back of the car at the time.” I think that’s one of Emo Williams.

  5. brucej says

    What , has Minnesota now become the northernmost part of Florida? Because that’s the most Florida Man story I’ve read all week…

  6. blf says

    Are flying cars the coming thing?



    (Just like they have been for the last 50 years…)

  7. numerobis says

    chigau: Homme-Dieu is Jesus, normally.

    Wikipedia says this particular lake was named after someone’s friend, which is singularly uninformative.

  8. greg hilliard says

    Had a friend in Pennsylvania who got drunk and drove his Ford Torino up an embankment, down again and across both lanes, then went airborne after crossing railroad tracks, snapping a small tree in two, which turned his car 180 degrees. The car flew over a small island in a creek, landing on the trunk. The impact shattered all of the windows, and my friend woke up gagging on the water that was pouring into the car. He climbed through the windshield as his eight-track tapes floated away, and he sat on the roof until daylight. He couldn’t see, having lost his glasses; on one side of the creek was an asphalt plant, while on the other was a sheer rock face. He was wearing just a short-sleeve shirt, and it was February. At daylight, he waded over to the plant, broke in, and called a friend, who took him to a hospital to be checked. Outside of scratches, he was OK. They stopped at the bridge on the way back, and a couple dozen people were there, some speculating about the driver. ” He must be dead,” someone said. I was supposed to go home with him that night, but I left early. Last I saw him at the party, he had a quart-size juice pitcher full of beer.

  9. numerobis says

    Since we’re sharing stories: my uncle was annoyed after a fight with his wife, got in the car, and due to his rage was driving way too fast. He lost control around a bend, went over the cliff, and as his car careened down into the valley he had the thought: “well, it’s been fun.”

    The car, upside down, landed softly in a tree. My uncle came out with some minor bruises. Bump on the head, because of course he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. Scratches just from climbing out through the brush.

    (And now he was in even deeper shit with his poor suffering wife.)

  10. tbtabby says

    This is a shoo-in for the next installment of WTFIWWY. It’s not a MInnesota story, it’s a Florida story that happened in Florida.

  11. tbtabby says

    This is a shoo-in for the next installment of WTFIWWY. It’s not a Minnesota story, it’s a Florida story that happened in Minnesota.

    Wish I could edit posts.

  12. emergence says

    The car looks pretty smashed up, are we sure that this guy didn’t get a concussion or something? I’m also surprised that the ice held out after a car landed on it.

  13. says

    From the article:

    Armstrong immediately locked the door and called the police. It was then he noticed nearly every light in the house was on and the TV tuned to a different channel than the one he had watched before going to bed. “He may have been there for an hour for all I know. I just have no idea,” Armstrong said. “There was blood on the kitchen counter and a little bit on the floor.”

    In hindsight, Armstrong wished he had stopped the man before he walked out. He worried about him as the police searched the neighborhood.

    “Fortunately for the both of us, I was able to take a second to get a grasp of the situation instead of coming out swinging with a golf club,” Armstrong said.

    Police found the man about 20 minutes later, walking through the neighborhood.

    All I can think of after reading this is, if that driver is also black, that’s two “miracles” he survived that night. The crash, and an encounter with the police after knocking on the doors of strangers.

  14. blf says

    It occurred to me this morning that if there is a stretch of water (or broken-up ice) between the car’s landing spot, and then a 30+ foot embankment, just how the feck did the guy get from the car, across that water / mushy-ice, and back up the cliff?

    This is probably a very minor point — e.g., the water wasn’t very deep and there’s a path up — but it’s one of those things which could be nagging at me for awhile. Where’s Colombo when you need him?