The New Threat: Coca-Cola
kitten   October 28, 2001

From the site cokemachineaccidents.com:

This site is dedicated to our dear son and brother Kevin Mackle, who was found dead in his Residence at Keuhner Hall, Bishop's University, Lennoxville Quebec on December 13th 1998, a day of sorrow for us, his family. A toppled Vendo Model Coca-Cola machine which was put in place, unsecured, by the Beaver Foods Company crushed him.
Ladies and gentlemen, this simple paragraph plunged me into a nightmare world of terror and fear for my life. I drink Coke on a regular basis - would I be the next victim of unsecured and toppled Coke machines?

Wanting to know more about exactly what happened, I read on, hoping to glean information on how I could defend myself against this new threat. I went to the Facts About The Accident section and discovered that

there have been several accidents where venders have been tipped over, causing serious injury or even death. These accidents have been due to the intentional misuse and abuse of the vender by tilting, shaking, or rocking the machine in an effort to obtain free product..
I consider myself to be a fairly articulate person, yet even my linguistic abilities are insufficient to properly express the outrage I felt upon discovering this. We - you, me, everybody - cannot even attempt to steal from a vending machine by tipping it over onto ourselves without fearing for our personal safety.

Is this the sort of world you want to live in? A world where you can't even steal from a Coke machine by tipping it over onto yourself, without worrying that it will be the last course of action you undertake on this mortal coil? I think not.

The machine, weighing over 900lbs, was not secured, nor were there any warning signs on it.
You read that correctly - there were no warning signs on this Coke machine, or any other Coke machines for that matter. How are we supposed to be aware of the inherent dangers in tipping Coke machines on ourselves? We may be stupid enough to think nothing bad will happen when we tip nine-hundred-pound machines on ourselves, but goddammit, we're smart enough to check for warning stickers first. Coke's reluctance to put such warnings on their machines is truly sickening, and a threat to public safety.
The simplest and safest recommendation has not been made, and that is, to secure the machine.
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Let's face it - Coke machines are an embarrassing subject to discuss with children. Do you really want the burden and responsibility to sit down with your child and explain to him the dangers of tipping Coke machines onto himself?
Hell no, you wouldn't - and neither would anyone else. The Coca-Cola corporation should protect us from this by bolting the machines to the floor or wall, providing ample warning stickers, so that our children - duly ignorant in the dangers of Coke-machine-tipping - can try to steal from the vending machine without being killed.
A good portion of this Report is devoted to explaining the internal working mechanisms of the Vendo 475. It was known to be faulty when tipped past a certain angle, it yielded a can of Coca-Cola. The students at Bishop's were well aware of this, had in fact been observed by the school janitor tipping it in the Kuehner Hall Lobby for just that purpose. However, on the morning that Kevin was found dead underneath it, there were no loose pop cans. Why not?
An interesting question. It is certainly out of the question that the attempt at theft failed - we should assume that something more happened. Something evil.
there is something terribly wrong with not taking the simple but effective step of securing the machine to ensure the safety of our children. Where is the moral leadership? Or is it that Coca Cola Bottling, - as demonstrated in recent events in Poland, Belgium, and France not only don't seem to care about the contents of their product, neither do they care about the safety of our youth.
Once again, I agree. Coca-Cola is solely responsible for ensuring that people - too stupid to know not to tip half-ton machines on themselves - are safe. Forget parenting - the blame is entirely on the corporation for designing machines that look so innocent and yet are so deadly.
Perhaps the most definitive point of the website is contained in this excerpt:
I appeal to all students to Boycott Coke until all machines are secured. And for Vendo Manufacturing, build pop machines that are less susceptible to top heaviness and the effect of shifting centers of gravity.
If you have a shred of decency and human compassion in you, you'll stop purchasing Coke products until such time that Coke makes their machines safe to steal from. This is our calling, ladies and gentlemen - the time to act is now. We will not go silently into the night.. we will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on.. we're going to be strong! Today, we celebrate our Independence From Evil Coke Day!

The authors of the website - Kevin's parents - are shrewd and unrelenting in their mission to discover the truth. They posit several insightful, hard-hitting questions which they would like to have answered before they will rest. Among them:

How does someone shake a machine without leaving fingerprints? No fingerprints were found on the machine by the police, only "a partial handprint".
It is clear, therefore, that the Coke machine tipped itself over in an effort to give Kevin a free Coke.
Was Kevin really alone or was someone with him who panicked?
This is totally relevent to the issue at hand, and I am appalled that it hasn't been investigated more thoroughly.
Why does the US Government provide Safety regulations when the Canadian Government does not?
Another pointed question. We must also wonder why the US flag has cool stuff like stars and stripes, while the Canadian flag has a stupid maple leaf. The ramifications are far-reaching and terrifying.
Why was the machine located in the Lobby of a student residence, with no warning stickers in place, in a confined area?
Damn straight. There is no reason a Coke machine should be in a confined area in a student dorm - it should be out in the middle of an open field, far away from any people.. people it could kill if they tip it onto themselves.
Why did the Sherbrooke Police play at tilting the machine themselves to see if they could tip it? Is not that the role of experts?
Now that is curious.. why wasn't the Special Operations for 900-pound Coke Machines called in to investigate? Can we safely assume a conspiracy from this?

I implore you.. take a look at the picture of poor Kevin on the front page of the site. Notice the Butterfinger used to lure his massive bulk onto the stage, the dull-witted glee with which he reaches for it. Did this fat fucking idiot deserve to die when he tipped a half-ton vending machine onto his bloated body?

If you will do nothing.. if you will sit idly by and turn an uncaring shoulder to the issue of Fat Fucking Idiots Who Tip Coke Machines On Themselves And Die, then you deserve nothing less than the fate of Kevin Mackle.