I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the Accident Report Form. I put "poor planning" 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 day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of my new six-story building; when I completed my work, I discovered I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over.
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 sixth 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 bricks.
You will note in Block 11 of the Accident Report Form, that my weight is 175 pounds. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground 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 which was now proceeding in a downward direction at an equally impressive rate of speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions, and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section III of the Accident
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence.
Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience. 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 now weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer 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, broken tooth, and the severe lacerations on my legs and lower body.
Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and, fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the pile of bricks in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope!