It only takes a split second for life to change for the worse. When asked, these Redditors tell some heart-wrenching stories about when one bad decision altered the course of someone’s life and led them to ruin. If only one could turn back time…
1. Dragged And Done
In college, my ex’s friend was pulled over for speeding; he had dope and booze in his system. When the officer reached into his truck to grab the keys, he panicked and did the worst possible thing. He took off, thinking the officer would let go.
However, he didn’t. The officer was dragged for quite a ways before eventually falling to the ground and hitting his head.
The officer didn’t make it. My ex’s friend was charged with a capital offense and was sentenced to 20 years in a Mississippi state prison. He was 21 years old and ruined his entire life in one night.
2. Nokia Knock-Out
A colleague I knew was a happy, enthusiastic developer, but he disliked bossy bosses. Other than that, he worked 50 hours for fun when you asked for 40, and was a stand-up guy. Then, we had a change of management with some dude who came in on a transfer.
He was the absolute worst. He started leading us Nordic developers using American methods and a lot more “do as I say” intimidation and even shouting.
He clearly saw us as below his stature and just nerds who should be browbeaten into place.
At the start, my colleague thought it was a joke, that the boss was testing the limits of what he could do, or even that he was just nervous about starting out in a new place.
After two weeks, the boss was still using his bossy style, and my friend realized that it was not a joke or a passing phase.
He started pushing back, at first friendly then firmly. The boss took it as a challenge to his leadership. He and my colleague had heated discussions and then even more heated closed-room discussions in the same week.
A week later, the mood was bleak and my friend was not having ANY of the boss’s continued intimidation tactics, even with threats of dismissal.
When the boss decided to humiliate my colleague in front of the 14-man team for an underwhelming project that my colleague had helped save during an all-nighter, that was the final straw. My colleague flipped.
He got up, furious, and took his cell phone—the Nokia brick type—and tossed it full force at the boss’s face. The boss ducked, but it caught him clean in the jaw.
It broke his jaw and teeth—there was blood flying everywhere—and it knocked him out cold for a minute and gave him a concussion. My colleague just yelled something out, and with a stunned 12 people watching, he just went back to his place, grabbed his coat and personal phone, and walked out crying.
No one held him back, and he served a year for the incident. Later, I helped him get a job at a much lower status, but he was never the same guy and he started drinking.
3. Their Lives Were Tainted
A friend’s son was with his recently-engaged fiance who had a serious nut allergy.
They were not far from Bendigo and stopped off at a cafe to buy sandwiches. The woman running the cafe assured them there were no nuts anywhere near the sandwiches, so they bought them and then went on their way. As they were driving out away from town, she was nibbling on the sandwiches.
Then, she started struggling to breathe. He stopped the car, got out, figured out what was going on, and went to the back of the car to get her Epipen, which he struggled to find. By the time he did find it, she was gone. But the tragedy wasn’t over.
He put his foot down on the accelerator and deliberately aimed his car at a power pole. He’d left his mom a note.
The contamination turned out to be an accidental tainting of a bread batch. The cafe owner did not know about it, nor did the bakery until that incident.
4. A Hero To The End
I was a teacher and coach. For a field trip, the principal “could not afford two buses”. So, I had to walk about ten girls to the field trip location and back to school, while the one bus was filled with the rest of the junior high students and faculty.
It was about a mile each way. I chose the girls from my team because they would listen to me outdoors, unlike lots of middle school kids.
We were crossing the street in the crosswalk, with the walk signal in our favor. All the kids went first, and like girls, they were clumped together and chatting while walking.
I noticed a woman making a left turn into our crosswalk. She never saw us as she tried to accelerate to beat an oncoming car. I knew she was going to run right through the girls. I didn’t think, I just acted.
I pushed the kids forward, very forcefully.
Most of the girls fell onto the pavement in front of other vehicles waiting at their red light. They were badly scraped up from my pushing them, but they didn’t need a hospital or doctor for their scrapes. I don’t remember the impact, but I remember seeing a Pontiac symbol between the headlights.
When I came too, I was in a whole different lane facing where I had just come from. I could not get up. They say my body went up the car, and off the driver’s side, tearing the side mirror off, and breaking her windshield. There was horror and crying from my student-athletes.
The girls raised me onto a backboard when the ambulance came, which must have been mortifying.
Now, 20 years later, I am still an ambulatory wheelchair user. I can’t teach or coach, can’t work at a desk, and I have chronic pain. My life can be really sucky, but I would not change what I did that day.
When I get low emotionally from all my limitations, I remember those girls. I watched them go to college, get married, grow into mothers, and hold impressive jobs in their fields. When they post a photo on Facebook of their happy moments, it recharges me to know they are safe, healthy, and happy, and it reaffirms my decision to save them from harm.
5. One Fateful Summer
It was the summer after senior year, and he had just turned 19. His dad owned a very lucrative lumber sales and construction company. He got a brand new truck for graduation and was going to start his job after summer ended with his dad. He was training to be a foreman, and basically be set for life on a path to retire extremely comfortably by the age of 55.
Then, he decided to take a bunch of pills and ran a red light. He T-boned a car ending the driver’s life instantly and crippling the passenger for life. He got off with vehicular manslaughter because his dad forked out big money to get the charges lessened.
He served 13 years and got out last year. He just walks around the town now because he can’t get work, or own a license or a vehicle.
6. Brotherly Brawl
An old friend, who was 20 at the time, was spoiled but not a jerk. He was usually super chill and non-confrontational.
He got crazy plastered at a party one night. Everything was fine and fun until his younger sister started telling him to slow down his drinking. She apparently either tried taking his keys or taking a drink out of his hand. Whatever it was, his reaction was disturbing.
As far as our other friends and I knew, this guy had never been aggressive or the type to lash out. To say this shocked the people who knew him, would be an understatement.
Someone at the party took her to the emergency room, while he tried to get in his car. Thankfully, someone else managed to keep him from driving, and he ended up walking down the sidewalk crying.
That same night, his parents called the authorities on him and had him spend the night in the slammer.
The next morning, they booted him out of their house, stopped paying for his car, and tuition, and cut off his allowance completely. He was broke within a week and was couch-surfing for a few months. He allegedly got trashed and got into an argument with whoever he was staying with at the time, and was back on the street.
The last I ever heard was he was taken into custody because his car was getting repossessed, and he thought it was a good idea to smash the windows of the tow truck taking his car.
7. A Stroke Of Bad Luck
My little sister slipped on the ice while getting out of her car and hit her head.
She didn’t think much of it when she had a pounding headache later, figuring she had just whacked herself good. Her friend told her to just sit down and take it easy. Then things started to go wrong. Roughly ten hours after the fall, she started garbling her words, and they called an ambulance.
She was going into cardiac arrest. It turned out she had stopped taking her blood thinning medication she was supposed to be on for clotting issues. The headache wasn’t a result of the fall, it was the clot in her leg cutting off her blood supply to the brain. At the age of 26, she never recovered and left behind a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old.
8. False Alarm Fallout
Some kid in our senior year of high school pulled the fire alarm every day, and he was getting away with it for a while. The school had town officials, so the chief of the fire department and the authorities came in and talked about the dangers of false alarms.
They would mention if the town would send trucks, they would be without them if there was another emergency.
However, none of that worked. When they offered a reward, the kid’s friends ratted him out. His family had to pay for all those calls, and he was expelled from school and didn’t graduate.
9. His Taunting Turned To Tragedy
A kid down the street had his best friend over.
His friend, being a 13-year-old boy, was being a total jerk. The kid picked up a shotgun his brother left lying around in the dining room and aimed it at the friend. The friend taunted him, and the kid pulled the trigger, filling his friend’s head full of shrapnel.
Two families were instantly devastated, and the kid went to prison.
The friend lived but had massive amounts of brain damage. I occasionally see the friend when I go out for a walk. He’s a grown-up now, but is intellectually about 4–5 years old, and will be taken care of by his family for the rest of his life.
10. Blinded By The Line
My dad once had a patient who was a seemingly normal, well-adjusted family man in his early 40s with no major health issues and in good physical shape.
He was in town for a business trip and had suddenly gone blind. We came to find out that while he was out with his colleagues, he had tried coke for the first time in his life. That turned out to be a terrible mistake.
It was cut with something that created a blockage in his optic nerve and now he’s blind forever. This caused him to lose his job.
He had a wife and kids and was the sole breadwinner.
11. A Heartbreaking Horror
Three guys in high school decided to speed on the backroads after practice. They lost control of their vehicle. The driver was decapitated, and the passenger who was being scouted had severe brain damage and was left unable to walk, eat, etc.
, on his own. The third guy may have walked away, but for the rest of his life will have to live with the haunting memory. They were a great bunch of guys; it’s just heartbreaking.
12. Culture Shocker
About 16 years ago, the company I worked for wanted to expand into America.
To do so, they sent me and several of my coworkers abroad, and we lived in the US for several years to set it up. When we were there, one of my coworkers became fascinated with gang culture. He started dressing like one, got tattoos, and even got a piece from who knows where.
About three weeks before we were due to go back, it was a nice night out. We had set up chairs in a park to drink and were pretty buzzed. Suddenly, some dude started shouting at us from a distance. That’s when the night took a chilling turn.
That guy was a law enforcement officer, so he understandably returned fire. The rest of us dove to the ground and my friend was hit twice, one in his shoulder and one in his leg.
It turned out that there had been some kidnapping nearby by some people who matched our general description, which was why the officer started out hostile.
The next few weeks were a blur, but I remember him still being hospitalized when I flew back home. I don’t actually know what happened to him after that, but my boss told me he lived, but he got fired, obviously, and I never saw him again.
13. Creeper Teacher
A 30-year district-renowned high school band director retired from teaching.
He was thrown a high-end retirement party with a good amount of past students and colleagues celebrating his career. His daughter just had her first child. He was a seemingly happy grandfather with a happy marriage and a happy life. One year later, he got caught talking to a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be an undercover law enforcement officer.
He spent the next 10 years in federal prison.
14. Stuck On A Bad Habit
A really great friend in high school huffed glue in her bedroom one night and lost her life. It was really weird because no one knew she was doing inhalants, and she didn’t fit the glue-huffing stereotype.
She was extremely social and well-liked, extremely smart, athletic, was the head chair in the band in her section, and was really into jazz band. At night, though, she’d be sniffing glue.
15. Till Debt Do You Part
My friend’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said she had about a 10% chance of surviving.
She scheduled her surgery for a month out, and without telling him, took out several credit cards in just her name. She racked up $100,000 in debt in that month, flying around the world, and doing everything on her bucket list.
But there’s a big twist: She had the surgery and chemo after and lived; she was fine.
His wife honestly thought she wasn’t going to make it. She thought that after her passing, the credit cards would close the accounts and the family would owe nothing, which is not exactly how it works. That debt completely messed up their lives for about 10 years.
My friend lost his DoD security clearance because of it and had to take a lower-paying job as a federal contractor.
16. He Flew It All Away
I had a friend in college, and we were both training to be pilots. His dad owned an insurance company and gave him the company’s credit card to pay for all his flight hours. He got about two years in and finished his first license.
Then, halfway through his second license, he decided to drink and drive. He got caught and his pilot career went down the drain. On top of that, his father’s company was going to be paying for it.
17. Nookie With The Newbie
There was a middle management-type man where I used to work who came into the office every other day.
He was known to be a stand-up guy, a good family man, and even a good boss—at least as good as it gets when it comes to management. But he made one huge mistake, and it destroyed him. He got caught doing the deed with the new hire.
He lost his job and his marriage, and his kids stopped talking to him. That was two years ago. The last I heard, he was living in a studio apartment with a mattress on the floor, and already spent half his savings on booze.
18. Living Her Father’s Dream Was A Nightmare
My ex was a straight-A student in high school and in university, as well as a college athlete.
She was incredibly talented and had a full-ride scholarship to Texas A&M, where she was pursuing nursing. She was a really sociable person as well. She could become friends with anybody and everybody. She had no reason to change a thing about her life and was doing great for herself after two years of university.
But she had one enormous problem: her dad. This man was the epitome of a man who peaked early in life and has been chasing that high ever since. He served in the Army as a young man and would never stop talking about it. He saw his Army days as the greatest time of his life, and because of that, he wanted his daughter to serve.
He always claimed it was for her betterment, but I know he just wanted to live vicariously through her. He used every manipulative tactic in the book on her. He kept telling her the service’s medical training was better than anything she could learn at school, which was a complete lie. He also convinced her that her athletics wouldn’t last forever and she’d lose her scholarships, which was also a lie because she was good at what she did.
He would also guilt-trip her by saying things like, “The day you were born, I dreamed of the day I could salute you as a fellow serviceman”. She and I got into many arguments over her father because I could see—plain as day—he was manipulating her. She was already two years through university, and her better option was to stay the course; there was no reason to change.
However, she dropped out of university despite her scholarships and joined the Navy. She started spiraling immediately. I watched as her mental health deteriorated, becoming worse and worse. The service is not as bad as it used to be, but it’s definitely not an environment where everyone can survive.
She became anxious and depressed. A once confident woman was now a shell of her former self with little to no self-confidence.
She had lost all of her motivation. Her original plan had been to just do the four years minimum active service and then go to med school.
But last I heard, she was still serving because she “didn’t know if she’d be able to make it through med school”. Her joining the Navy was what pushed us apart because she also became less emotionally available.
She was on the course for a successful life of her own making, but now, she’s on the course to be just like her dad.
Serving was the only thing she ever accomplished.
19. All Gone In A Matter Of Seconds
She was an honor student and had been accepted to several colleges, including her dream school. She was a cute geek who liked Star Wars and competing in science league. Then she decided to inject smack while in the girl’s bathroom with a friend during lunch. Now she has a record, two kids, and custody of only one of them, and can’t keep a job.
She’s been in and out of rehab three or four times, all as a result of a 20-second lapse in judgment.
20. Accidental Free Fall
He didn’t properly secure a ladder on a building site. He then fell off said ladder and fractured three vertebrae. He was lucky enough not to be paralyzed, but he spent nearly two months in the hospital and then three months in a body cast from his armpits to his rear.
But it gets worse. His wife took this opportunity to leave him for a yuppie loser, taking his kids with her. He’s been battling with depression and chronic pain for over a decade since then.
21. His Life Flew Off The Rails
My stepbrother got married at 18. He was a nice guy, but had a quick temper and drank too much.
About two years into the marriage, he and his wife got into an argument while he was trashed. He hopped on his motorcycle without his helmet and took off. He took out four mailboxes on 4×4 posts, suffered a severely broken arm, and now has the mental capacity of a five-year-old.
To top it off, years later his brother, who was supposed to take care of him, emptied his bank account and took off.
22. Young Lives Lost
Jim, a kid I went to high school with, gave a bunch of other kids a ride home in his pickup truck. The other kids rode in the bed as he drove each of them home.
He tried to make a light, but he came up way short. Traffic on the opposite side already had a green light. Jim’s truck hit a car in the middle of the intersection, sending the kids riding in the back flying through the air.
Two of the kids passed from their injuries, while one of the other ones got helicoptered to the ICU.
Making matters worse, the car he hit was driven by Erin, a girl we went to high school with. All she did was proceed through the intersection when the light turned green—no one blamed her at all—but she was only 16 and had just started driving; the incident sent her over the edge.
She had a nervous breakdown and I never saw her again.
Life wasn’t easy for Jim after that. The other students at school were merciless to him. He obviously felt horrible about what happened, but self-flagellation was apparently not enough for the other students. Eventually, Jim had to leave the school because his safety was legitimately in danger.
Jim’s situation might’ve been exacerbated if not for some VERY forgiving parents of the deceased teens. One of them said words to the effect of, “He’s already suffering and he’ll suffer even more in the future. I can’t bring myself to add to his pain”.
I don’t think the other kids took kindly to the parents just letting it go.
23. A Personal Vendetta
I worked for a company that had a very prestigious grad program. Getting in and completing it was a fast track to senior management either in our firm, or any other in our industry.
We treated the grads very well and had a social event for the new intake. One of the grads accosted one of the other grads. She decided not to take it to the authorities, even though we encouraged her to do so and offered her all the support she needed to deal with it.
Needless to say, he was immediately fired and blackballed from the entire industry. One of the senior managers who recruited the guy took his mistake very personally and has been following his career closely via LinkedIn. Every time he gets a half-decent job, a discreet phone call is made and he fails his probation.
24. Some Shifty Dealings
I worked with a guy who was using his shift manager/keyholder status to take money and make it look like new hires did it. I had caught on to him and approached the owner when the owner was contemplating firing yet another new hire. I convinced him to hold off until after this dude’s next shift. The owner turned the cameras to face the desk area where the drawer was counted, which also showed the safe.
Before his next shift, this guy showed up really early during one of my shifts “just for a glass of water”, and disappeared to the back for a second before leaving without another word. I called up our boss, he checked the cameras, and sure enough, he went into the safe.
The boss told me not to touch anything, and that he would be there before my shift was going to be over with a locksmith.
An hour or two later, the authorities showed up looking for this guy because they found his wallet in a building that had been broken into and vandalized the night before.
Our boss showed up and they had a long discussion. I found out later, the other building was an elementary school. He had taken pretty much all the money out of the safe and had also wrecked his frat brother’s car. These officers were basically on a scavenger hunt at that point.
He got tossed out of the frat, lost his scholarships, and had to drop out.
25. Good Lovin’ Gone Bad
A friend of mine got involved with an older woman who acted as his romantic awakening at 25. She was married and polyamorous, and they dated for about a year before he got bold enough to try and explore on his own.
It turned out she wasn’t polyamorous in the way most people think. She wanted a whole harem of dudes, which she had, but kept separate from each other so she could make each one feel special enough to stay.
When he told her about the girl he’d met, she went nuclear and dropped a harassment accusation on him.
He was completely blindsided; she spent months laying the seeds. He didn’t find out until the authorities picked him up as he was leaving for work. But she wasn’t finished. While he was being questioned, she contacted his work, his family, and any friends she had contact with.
She would contact him and try to spin him out as a monster via text but tell him how much of a misunderstanding it all was in person. It really messed with his head. It turned out, she had a history of going full psycho on men, ESPECIALLY ones who had dumped her.
The local kink community came out as character witnesses of such behavior and showed texts where she’d tailored the story to each person she was telling.
Eventually, she admitted to it, but the damage was done. Half of his family had cut ties with him, but his work had miraculously believed him, although many coworkers left because they didn’t feel comfortable.
He lost friends and had his name known around town. It didn’t matter that he was innocent, just that he was accused in the first place. He ended up taking his life a couple of years later.
He felt as if he would spend the rest of his life trying to prove his innocence to people, and it eventually got to be too much.
He would stay in his house because people would harass him in the grocery store or on the street. As for her, she got her claws into his brother, and she and her husband moved in with him a month after my friend passed. Apparently, she pulled the same stunt on him.
26. Bankrupt For Some Booty
I had a friend who was a compulsive spender. For example, he bought a $9,000 sports motorcycle, spent $1,200 getting it customized, then traded it in nine months later for $3,000 towards another new one. The guy could probably have a house and be ahead on a mortgage with all of the money he would spend on stuff he was being stupid about.
Then he made one mistake—and it ruined him.
One day, he must’ve put his credit card number into a “Hot Singles In Your Area” sham. He woke up and his bank account had been cleaned out. He needed to move back into his parents’ house and declare bankruptcy.
He also borrowed $1,000 from me that I never saw a cent of before he ghosted me.
27. Living One’s Truth Ended In Turmoil
We were on molly and a friend told us he was going to finally call his parents and tell them he was gay. We strongly advised him against it and told him he should wait until he was done with college, but he did it, and they reacted horribly. His dad brutally beat him when he got home, and they tossed him out of the house.
This was in the 90s when that was not uncommon at all, unfortunately. He was couch surfing and staying in shelters, and he just spiraled downward into dope to cope with his situation. He loved his family, and they viewed him as some kind of evil monster apparently, and it just destroyed him.
He ended up taking his life some years later after a stint in prison.
28. His Sausage Party Was Over
There was a senior married reserve Naval officer who also had a job at a nuclear power facility that required top-secret clearance. He got deployed as a reservist to do classified work in Europe.
It was a cushy gig too, living in a luxury hotel with lots of paid time off to check out the sights. However, this clown decided to hook up with a German woman and have an affair.
The service doesn’t care about that so long as you’re above board with them about it, so you can’t be blackmailed.
They don’t even tell the spouse. This is spelled out once you get a security clearance. He didn’t tell his commanders; they found out another way, but the unit went easy on him. His commander told him to either tell his wife or stop seeing this German woman.
If he did that, there’d be no consequences; if he didn’t, there’d be a price to pay. This warning was repeated to this guy on multiple occasions. He said he’d stop, then he went off to Germany on vacation to bang this German woman.
The commander took it personally that this guy ignored his warnings, disobeyed orders, and lied to him. So he went nuclear.
He fired him from the cushy job and revoked his security clearance, which ruined the guy’s reserve career. Because he needed a security clearance at his civilian job, he lost that too, and, of course, his wife found out and divorced him.
29. Final Thoughts
I used to be a divorce lawyer, and I still remember my final court appearance before switching jobs and moving to another city. My client was the father in your typical highly-contested separation. The baby mama was just being a complete jerk and wouldn’t let him see the kids unsupervised for any reason; I managed to get the supervision dropped in court.
In the end, he hugged me and asked if I could still stay on as his lawyer, and he’d pay to fly me in. I was so touched.
They told me that last client of mine was alone and driving inebriated on a winding mountain road. He drove right through a guardrail and fell clear off the cliff and lost his life. I was so mad. Divorce is difficult and all I could think about was his kids, and how their world was turned further upside down by what just happened to their father, which was preventable.
I only had the file a couple of weeks before leaving, and we had only one court appearance. I barely knew the guy, but my heart just shattered. It upset me so much that I was ready to cry right then and there.
30. Married To The Monster
In college, I went to a party with a dude and caught him with something in his hand.
He offered to bartend so the host could mingle, so I asked him what was up. He mentioned really wanting to hook up with a girl in his class, but she was engaged. I told him to let it go and go toss off or something instead of making an absolutely beyond stupid decision.
I told the girl, and she told me I was an ugly fat freshman and to leave her alone. She dumped her drink on me and I left the party. Then everything unraveled. The dude roofied her for three days straight and accosted her several times. He didn’t use protection, and she got pregnant.
Her fiance called off the marriage and said that the guy was one of his friends who he had known his whole life, the son of his pastor, and she was just a tramp.
She couldn’t get an abortion without money or a ride and went to her parents.
Both were Evangelicals, so they made her marry the guy who accosted her, and she gave birth to her son. Her son went to live with the grandparents due to several issues. Then, her husband had her checked into the local psychiatric facility because she no longer wanted to live.
She took her life on the first day out.
31. A Chance Encounter Changed My Life
After a friend of mine explained to me how the judicial system let her and her three sisters down, leaving them sitting ducks for their father, I went for a walk to find a friend who had just borrowed money from me.
I walked up and down the streets he was known to be around but had no luck. I admitted defeat and walked to a payphone to call a cab.
As I was speaking, someone crossed the street and asked me who I was on the phone with.
I told them, “Unicity Taxi”, so he asked me to ask for two cars. As we waited, we spoke and introduced ourselves. I couldn’t believe it when he told me. It was my friend’s dad, who had accosted her and her sisters. I didn’t even have a physical description of him at the time—no hair color, body type, skin tone, height, weight, nothing.
However, I knew his first name was Kim, and he had an odd last name.
I decided to join him because he had a case of brew and I was going to beat the daylights out of him. When we got back to his place, sure enough, there was a picture of my friend. I did not drink anything; I just used that as an excuse to join him.
Eventually, I confronted him and squared up to fight.
He reached out and grabbed my junk. That’s when I decided I was going to end him. I beat him so brutally he didn’t make it, and I was taken into custody two days later. I plead out to manslaughter and served six years.
While in prison, I learned so much and met so many undesirables. When I got out, I started selling dope, and within two years, I sold a kilo of powder to an undercover officer, and I served six more years.
32. Overcoming The Odds
A dude I used to hang out with in high school back in the 80s, had a really bad home environment.
He did poorly in school, and as a result, was constantly told he’d never amount to anything and would live just like his parents. One day, we went to the beach. He walked up on the bridge overlooking the pass to sea and yeeted himself off.
It was about a 40-foot drop, and if it’d been a belly flop, he might have been in worse shape. However, he landed in the water fairly well and survived. Then, he got bitten by a bull shark and ended up losing his right leg due to the damage from the strike.
A passing boat got him out and over to the docks where good fortune shined on him and he was taken to the hospital.
The state ended up admitting him for a couple of months, and he turned 18 while in a mental health facility. He never went home after that and started his life over elsewhere.
He struggled a lot to get started, but now he has kids and a family of his own, and he’s a therapist. As he says, “I’m just happy to have a leg to stand on in this industry”.
33. Their Lives Took A Wrong Turn
One of my daughter’s high school friends was turning 21. Everyone pooled their money to get booze and another brought loads of weed.
They went out on back roads speeding and riding around with four kids crammed in a single cab truck, and six in the back. Everyone was trashed. The plastered driver took a dirt road turn too fast and flipped the truck.
It crushed one girl from mid-chest down, amputated one boy’s arm, and numerous other serious injuries in the group. They managed to lift the truck enough to pull the girl out to her hips.
They were literally in the middle of nowhere at 2 AM with no cell phone signal. One guy with a broken arm and other injuries had to walk three miles to a house to find help. The crushed girl passed a few hours later in the hospital. The driver and adult who purchased the booze went to prison.
34. Rocked To Ruin
A kid I went to school with had just been signed to a pretty great rugby team. They absolutely rocked the other guys during the final game of his high school team’s finals. All the boys celebrated in the locker room and the coaches turned a blind eye to them being underage because it was their last big win together.
They’d regret it for the rest of their lives. The team drank nine cases of brew and a few bottles of other stuff.
One guy drove his friends home but lost control of the vehicle and two of his friends lost their lives. He miraculously survived but was in a coma for a long time.
He suffered permanent brain damage and suffers from impaired walking or speech, amongst other things. He lost his career, and his friends, and will live with his parents for the rest of their lives. Ironically, his brain damage has affected his walking and speech in such a way that when he engages with people, he is assumed to be a lush.
35. Don’t Mess With The IRS
My mom had a best friend for pretty much my entire life. Although every now and then they stopped talking to each other, they always ended up rekindling their friendship somehow. My mom’s friend had a daughter when I was about six, and she and my sister, who is three years younger than me, have also been best friends their entire lives.
I hung out with them every now and then, and I was also considered her friend.
My mom’s friend had a serious boyfriend for a large portion of her daughter’s life. He lived with them for a long time and was basically a father figure to her. That all changed when my mom’s friend had an affair. She cheated on her boyfriend and they ended up splitting shortly afterward.
He still remained a part of the daughter’s life though.
In recent years, my mom and her friend were talking again after they had ghosted each other for a while. The daughter would come over and hang out with me and my sister, while my mom and her friend would hang out.
Everything seemed like it was going to work out. Then, I got a letter from the IRS saying someone tried to file a tax return in my name.
My mom looked into it and found out it was her friend, who also tried to file one in my sister’s name as well. After looking into it more, my mom told us that her friend had been taking money from not only us, but a bunch of people in her life, tracing back for who knows how long.
I was so shocked, I honestly didn’t know what to think.
Obviously, she and my mom are not friends anymore, and I’m pretty sure this time it’s for good. The last I heard, the daughter doesn’t live with her anymore and instead lives with her mom’s ex-boyfriend from earlier.
36. A Life Derailed
I have a nephew in the Midwest.
I hadn’t seen him since he was about five, so I went back and saw him again when he was 17. He was tall and super handsome with long blond hair like a male model. He hung out with my other nephew who was also a good-looking kid.
A few months later, he and some other friends were plastered and screwing around on the railroad tracks.
My other nephew wasn’t with them. He tried to jump on the moving train and somehow fell, was hit by the train, and had his head split open.
His “friends”, rather than calling for help, ran away, leaving him bleeding in the snow. They found him the next morning. He lived but now he’s messed up in the head. He’s in his 40s now and still lives with his dad because he can’t work and does inappropriate things.
He was taken off the family’s Facebook page for taking photos of his junk and posting them.
37. Their Life Was Washed Away
I live in the Phoenix area which is notorious for getting flash floods. Our creeks and rivers are USUALLY empty, so we have roads built through them and it isn’t a problem unless it rains badly. During Thanksgiving weekend 2019, we had a huge storm with rain, winds, thunder, and everything.
This family of nine decided to ignore a road closure that was due to a creek being flooded and attempted to drive through it.
I don’t know if they just thought their car would be heavy enough to get through, or maybe they didn’t realize how deep the water was. Either way, the car ended up getting swept away with three kids still inside.
They found the body of one son and a cousin the next day, both five years old. They spent two weeks searching for their daughter who was six.
It was so hard watching the posts turn from looking for a missing child to recovering a probable body.
They found the daughter’s body eventually and it was just so sad. If the parents had just obeyed the signs and taken a detour or turned back all three of those babies would be here still. Neither parent got any prison time, they both just got probation.
38. His Life Was Wrecked
I knew an officer who did motorcycle patrol. He was about 35 and had a 7-year-old daughter, was divorced, very handsome, and likable. He was off-duty and heading home when he was turning left on a green arrow in a four-way intersection. A man driving a van ran a red light and smashed right into him, mid-intersection, throwing him from his bike onto the roadway head first.
He was paralyzed from the neck down and after two years of palliative care and a failed attempt at a relationship with one of his home nurses, he used medical assistance to take his life about a year later. I last saw him about six months before this all happened.
We were standing around drinking outside of a house BBQ and he was talking about his daughter; there was so much life and positivity there.
We joked about his high school friends, who all were doing something that wasn’t on the up and up for a living, meanwhile, he was an officer. I never saw him after that.
It’s such a jarring and life-defining story that I think about it often.
39. A Downward Spiral
A guy who used to date a friend and was in our friend group liked to skateboard a lot. He was friendly and easy to get along with and drank, but never really touched dope.
The relationship ended and we lost contact, but he still ran with another friend group I was adjacent to. Five years later, I was at an electronic music festival hanging out with someone I was situational friends with.
They asked me if I knew this guy and told me he was staying at their campsite at the festival.
We headed back to her campsite and sure enough, it was the guy my friend used to date! I took one look at him, and my stomach dropped. He looked terrible, like Jesse Pinkman totally strung out. He greeted me and asked me if I wanted to head with him into the tent to smoke some crank.
I was like, “No, I’m good! I think I’ll head back to the stages and music to dance”. I haven’t seen or heard from him since that night, but I hope he got clean. As for my situational friend she fell into a spiral as well; I haven’t heard from her or seen her in years.
40. From Harvard To Homeless
I knew a homeless guy who would tell stories. I didn’t believe him until his parents came around looking for him. He was a very successful man and had gone to Harvard on a full-ride scholarship for accounting. His father was a judge in New York City and his mother was a lawyer for New York City.
He moved to Las Vegas and worked as an accountant for the casinos.
Most of the casinos are owned by the same company. After a couple of years in that job, he went crazy. He claimed that he saw the inside of the casino and said that the mob was very much still in Vegas; they were just better at hiding.
He quit his job, left his girlfriend, and decided to be homeless, so I asked him why he chose to be homeless.
He told me that he doesn’t have to worry about anything except where or what his next meal is going to be and where he’s going to sleep that night.
He does a lot of weed and drinks a lot, but he “doesn’t touch the hard stuff”.
41. Sunk For Not Seeking Help
If I had to pick a day this girl’s life was ruined, I’d pick the one when her parents first refused to take her to the doctor.
This girl, who lived in a small town in a conservative country, was obviously suffering from a debilitating mental disorder, probably psychosis or schizophrenia. Her parents didn’t want to get her professional help because it would be shameful and detrimental to their reputation.
People would talk and they couldn’t allow that, so, they let her simmer in her mental illness.
I bet you can guess how that went. They even found her a husband, who was not mentally stable by any means. One day they were arguing in a car, and he got livid and bit her cheek. That marriage ended, but she soon got married again.
Her new mother-in-law was into some weird cult stuff.
She would leave white paint imprints of her hand on the girl’s clothes while she was asleep. The girl is now living with her parents, unable to have a job due to her crippling mental illness. She barely leaves her house and is in her 40s.
42. Back-Breaking Decision
I had an operation to correct scoliosis at 16. I made the mistake of trusting the NHS consultant and going along with my parents, whose decision it really was, and who did no research. We weren’t adequately informed of the risks. The surgeon performed the operation alone when usually it would be two, and misplaced the pins through my spinal canal, causing nerve damage and ongoing complications.
It took years to get the truth. Only fairly recently did I learn the cord is likely split, and that my left kidney was also displaced. I have severe nerve pain primarily from the waist down, fatigue, digestive issues with abdominal pain and nausea, and tachycardia. I can never have a normal physical relationship and have entirely lost that kind of function.
The years of institutional coverups, being dismissed when seeking treatment, as well as horrendous waiting times, have been a nightmare. The surgeon told me I would be able to have a normal life, but actually, I could have had that before he took it away from me.
43. Mainframe Meltdown
I was an IT guy who worked in a well-known chain of British computer superstores. We had a thing where you could send your computer to us for a day, and we would make sure your virus protection was updated, etc. A guy brought his in, and I sat down, hooked it up, and started looking.
We were used to seeing some stuff, as you can imagine.
On the desktop was a program called “Teen Dialler”. The age of consent here is 16, so it was a bit naughty, but I didn’t think much of it and had a laugh. Next, I went into the start menu and recently used files came up—and they were utterly disturbing. I had a huge “Oh no” moment and called over my manager. The investigation department, CID, came in and I had to point out the guy as he came in to collect his computer.
It was a rough town, so I spent the next few weeks concerned his relatives would come in and beat the daylights out of me.
44. A Dad’s Deadly Game
A friend of my parents was a good family man who loved his family. One day, he was playing with his toddler and was playfully tossing her on the bed.
She would get back up giggling and he would toss her again. In one of the tosses, he threw her a bit too far and she hit a bedpost. She lived but became bedbound, unable to even talk.
She was not quite a vegetable, but close. He went to prison, lost his wife, his job, and his little girl would never be the same.
The guilt was so much, he ended his own life as soon as he could.
45. Downed By The River
I had a really close friend who tried smack with his loser friend about 12 years ago. Apparently, he liked it, because it quickly became the only important thing in his life.
He soon wound up on the streets after having a fallout with his girlfriend who was cheating on him while he was in prison. He eventually graduated to what he called a “train kid” and would hop trains and slam dope, pilfering food and booze along the way.
I saw him one last time in 2015.
I insisted he and his female traveling companion take a shower and clean the horrible smell off of them and offered them a clean place to sleep for the night and some fresh clothes. The entire time he was at my house he was either high or plastered, or both.
It was painful to see. I gave him some money and dropped him and his girlfriend off at the bus stop. That was the last time I saw him.
Unfortunately, his life ended in the Colorado river about half a year later. The details are fuzzy but the belief was he was spiking his vein near the river and it was cut with fentanyl, so the dose hit him so hard and fast that he lost consciousness and fell into the river, and drowned.
He was one of my best friends and I miss him. He was a charming, fun, charismatic guy with what I believed to be a ton of untapped potential, but one day he chose to go down the wrong path.
After that, he decided that was all that really mattered anymore and unfortunately now he’s gone. Meanwhile, the friend who got him into that stuff is still alive and well, and has recovered from his addiction.
I have to be supportive and happy for him even though, in my eyes, it’s his fault for bringing it around and sharing it with him. I guess life’s complicated sometimes; being mad at one guy won’t erase the bad decisions of another.
46. Grade A Error
Years after I graduated college, I heard that a professor I had had was caught sleeping with an undergrad student.
He never got busted in the act, even though he banged her on field trips, conferences, and even his desk. But it came back to bite him. He gave her a B in the class, but because of their relationship, she demanded an A. He told her that as a matter of principle, he couldn’t do that.
This guy was stern about studying and tests in his class when I had him; he wouldn’t budge even when it came to this! She sent an email to the head of the department and this guy’s wife. He completely burned his career, got divorced, and had to leave town.
When the school fired him, his response was simply, “Well, I almost got away with it”.
47. Karmic Revenge
These two kids at school were dating. They were part of the troublemaker crowd, the ones who vape and skip school to get high. He was 19 and had been held back multiple times while she was 15.
It was a totally creepy age gap, but it gets worse. They exchanged racy photos, then around a month later, broke up. The guy sent the photos to some of her friends as “revenge”.
They in turn sent it to their friends, who sent it to their friends, and so on, until not only the entire school, but also all the schools around, and the whole neighborhood in general had seen this 15-year-old without any clothes on.
Someone ratted them out, and technically this was against the law, so the guy got into huge trouble.
He went totally incognito and deleted all his socials, ghosted everyone, including his parents. Then around a month later, he was run over by a car. I’m not sure if he got run over on purpose, but he didn’t survive, not that anyone cared much. The girl moved all the way to New Jersey and started over there.
48. Quitting Time
An employee at an old job went to a job interview somewhere else. He radically misinterpreted it, drove straight back to his office, went full Jerry Maguire, and stormed out. He called up the hiring manager at the other company, saying he could start right away.
That’s when he realized his mistake. The hiring manager said a mistake had been made in interviewing him as a candidate. Someone else had already been given an offer letter the day before, and so the opening had been filled.
He tried begging for his old job back, but he got laughed out.
This guy’s marriage was already on the ropes, but when his wife found out he rage quit without having something new lined up, she moved out the same day and filed for divorce two or three months later.
49. Locked Into A Loser Life
My dad used to be a locksmith at a small company; he had a terrible boss, but decent coworkers.
One of his buddies, James, had a good life—a beautiful wife, a couple of kids, owned his own home, etc. One day, James was called to drill a safe. When he came in, the safe contained $15,000. When he left, the safe contained nothing.
It didn’t take long for his boss, my dad, or the owner of the safe to figure out what had happened. James can never be a locksmith again.
He now works as a long-haul trucker. He almost never sees his beautiful wife, his kids, or his home, and he didn’t even get to keep the $15,000.
50. His Ex Was Positively Crazy
My brother broke up with his girlfriend when they were both 21. On the surface, it looked like an amicable breakup.
He even volunteered to move back in with our parents temporarily so she could keep the flat they were renting. About a month later, she sent him two pictures—one of an ultrasound and one of a positive pregnancy test.
She told him she didn’t want him to have anything to do with their baby, but if he’d give her a few thousand now to help her through the pregnancy and to get ready for the baby’s arrival, she’d release him from any future obligation to pay child support.
She really laid it on thick that it was going to be a very hard pregnancy since he’d left her and she now had to pay for the flat alone.
She even hinted he’d known she was pregnant when he broke up with her. He ignored the message, so she tried to get revenge.
She sent it on to everyone. Her family, our family—including parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—his employer, his colleagues, some old college teachers they were still in contact with, and their friends. She even posted it on her Facebook for good measure. But she wasn’t as smart as she thought she was.
He then replied to her and to everyone he knew that she’d sent the message to, and also on her Facebook page, with two screenshots, showing that the pictures she’d sent him were literally the first ones that came up with you googled “ultrasound” and “positive pregnancy test”.
She didn’t lose her job over that but did a few months later, and most of their friends cut ties with her. She set out to coerce a few thousand off him, and instead outed herself as crazy to basically everyone she knew.