Steve Irwin ('Crocodile Hunter') was only 44 years old! And how many times had he been criticised for getting too close to the wild creatures he loved and lived for? How terrible and ironic that getting too close to a stingray would end with a deadly barb piercing his heart.
A couple years ago we almost got him for the parade when we had the giant alligator, one of our most amazing floats of all time. (I'm convinced if it had been a croc, he would have come.) His wife Terri is from Eugene, and was a friend or relative of someone who worked for the float builder.
Whether you liked him or not, he was a champion of animal rights and of conservationism, and he used his outrageous style to get attention for his causes, as well as himself.
Still, this is probably the way he would have chosen to go . . .