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Man holding breath causes car crash in tunnel

A young man of 19 caused a major accident in an Oregon tunnel while holding his breath, according to ABC News on Monday. The young man, Daniel Calhoun of Snohomish, Washington, told authorities that he was holding his breath when he passed out and crashed head on with a Ford Explorer while driving in a tunnel on HIghway 26 near Portland, Oregon. Both Calhoun's 1990 Camry and the other driver's Explorer were thrust against walls when the incident occurred. After the two vehicles impacted the walls of the tunnel, a pickup truck hit Calhoun's Camry, thereby making this a three-car accident.

Although nobody was killed in the accident, Calhoun and his passenger, Bradley Meyring, also 19, sustained non-threatening injuries, as was the case for the driver of the Ford Explorer, Thomas Hatch, 67, and his passenger, Candace Hatch, 61, of Astoria. Oregon. All four victims were taken to nearby hospitals and treated for their injuries. Both parties in the pickup were not injured.

In a recent article on the holding of one's breath, the HyperVen Foundation brought out the dangers of doing so, especially for people with respiratory ailments such as heart ailments, hyperventilation, etc.:

Under certain circumstances it can be dangerous to hold your breath. The oxygen levels in the blood will go down and the carbon dioxide levels will go up. Because of this the acidity /alkaline equilibrium will change and for certain persons this could lead to heart rhythm abnormalities. Commonly this will happen to the elderly which already be suffering from heart problems, but certainly not for the most common group of people suffering from hyperventilation."

The article also brought out the fact that one of the main dangers associated with holding one's breath is the subsequent hyperventilation that it causes. This, in turn, results in lightheadedness and, as with Calhoun, even passing out.

It is with total, absolute and undeniable disgust that this commentator looks upon Calhoun's stupid, idiotic actions. Driving a car is a very serious responsibility not to be compromised by senseless games or childish dares and pranks. The ramifications can be deadly. Calhoun was very fortunate that nobody, including himself, was killed in this mishap. One can only hope that he has learned his lesson and will be a safe, respectful and responsible driver from here on out.

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