Car Crash in Tunnel Lesson: Don’t Hold Your Breath

By: Pam Wright - May 27, 2014

How many of you hold your breath while driving through a tunnel? Well, you might want to rethink that superstition.

A 19-year-old man apparently caused a three-vehicle accident Sunday when he fainted from holding his breath as he drove through a tunnel in Portland, according to Oregon State Police.

Daniel J. Calhon, of Snohomish, Washington, told police he must have passed out from holding his breath in a Highway 26 tunnel near the community of Manning.

His 1990 Toyota Camry crossed the centerline, crashing head-on with a Ford Explorer. A pickup truck joined the mayhem when the driver could not avoid the collision and hit the Camry.

Calhon and his passenger, 19-year-old Bradley Meyring, of Edmonds, Washington, were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Thomas Hatch Jr., 67, and Candace Hatch, 61, from Astoria, were also transported to the hospital.

The two people in the pickup emerged from the accident unhurt.

The breath-holding Calhon was cited for reckless driving, three counts of reckless endangerment and fourth-degree assault in Washington County Circuit Court.

State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said Monday he’s not sure why Calhon was holding his breath, which seems surprising considering many people hold their breaths in tunnels for fun or out of superstition.

“It is odd,” said Hastings.

What is odd is the fact that Calhon could not hold his breath for the needed 10 seconds it takes to traverse the 772-foot long tunnel when traveling at 55 m.p.h.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the accident.

Image via YouTube

Pam Wright

About the Author

Pam WrightPam Wright is a multimedia journalist for a Kentucky newspaper and WebProNews contract writer. She is Mom to five and Grams to two (and a half). She loves God, her family, photography, traveling, singing, running and scuba diving. Follow Pam on Twitter @pamwrightAMNews and on Facebook @pam.wright.90281943 and at

View all posts by Pam Wright
  • Deneen

    That is the dumbest thing I ever heard. He should have his license taken away just for being stupid. I understand some people have a fear of tunnels but HOLDING YOUR BREATH until you passout while still drivingl.

  • barbarita lopez

    I am from California and things like this are inconceivable that someone could be that stupid hopefully it will be a lesson for others

    • jaybake32

      I’m trying to figure out how the part about you being from California has anything to do with believing this is inconceivably stupid. Is it your position that no one in California does things so inconceivably stupid, or is it that this act was so inconceivably stupid that it exceeded even the high level of stupidity ordinarily seen only in California?

      • barbarita lopez

        you are right that was stupid I don’t even know what my thought was at he time but in any state that was super stupid


    A clear future candidate for the darwin awards

    • Carolyn

      Awards ? He deserves no awards, and his driving permit should be revoked for life !

      • WeAreNotAmused

        Look up Darwin Awards, Carolyn.

        • Carolyn

          If he is Charles Darwin, I am not interested !

          • Redickutarded

            Wow Carolyn I think you should also be nominated for the dumb dumb award as you totally missed the point of WHYUSOSTUPIT comment.

          • Carolyn

            Perhaps, but the mention of the word ” Darwin ” is a turn-off to me ! I may be DUMB but I am no KILLER ! Hmph ! I am not interested in any AWARD, just in the REWARD from the true God, aka the promise of everlasting-life ! ( John 3:16, 36 ; John 17:3 ). Hallelujah !

          • WHYUSOSTUPIT

            Carolyn….You obviously aren’t aware…but the Darwin Awards are given out to about 10 people every year for doing the most stupid things imaginable, causing there permanent demise from that event…therefore an award….but sarcastic at the highest level

          • Carolyn

            No, I was NOT aware, nor do I care ! The ” name ” is a turn-off to me, and If Charles Darwin was alive, he would be deserving of that award ! His theory was STUPID ! Is that sarcastic enough for you ? Hmph ! Man did not evolve from an ape, but was created from dust, aka CLAY ! ( Genesis 3:19 ; JOB 10:9 ; Ecclesiastes 3:20 ). God gave man SUBJECTION over the animals, ( Genesis 1:26, 28 ), not the animals having subjection over man !

  • steve holt

    is he Tim Calhoun’s son? Now it all makes sense.

    • Carolyn

      Nothing about what he did makes any sense ! Too bad he didn’t kill himself. It would have been GOOD RIDDANCE ! He could have killed some innocent people. I hope his parent(s) let him have it real good ! He is a real embarassment to his parent(s).

  • Slaytanic


  • Bluegrass Painter

    Learning his lesson at the expense of others just doesn’t get it; conviction of the felony and some hard time for assaulting others and the property damage would help him remember to breath! Idiot!!!

    • Carolyn

      Revoke his driving license FOREVR as well !

  • Carolyn

    His driving license should be REVOKED forever !

  • JT

    I don’ know why but the stupidity of people now days still amazes me.

  • Carolyn

    Holding his breath while driving ? DUMB ! I guess he holds his breath for fog also ! Now that may be SMART to do !

  • L. Bennett

    I applaud you, Carolyn,for speaking the whole truth about this dumb ass of a person. He should have his license revoked permanently and also have him sit in on a crash victim course to see what his ultimate stupidity can cause. Bring on life support, death, etc. and hopefully this will make him think about his true asshole ways of driving.

  • WeAreNotAmused

    It’s time to raise the driving age and start giving intelligence tests; many Americans will need to start peddling or taking public transportation.

  • RickT

    Darwin came oh so close!!

  • Aaron Ververs

    Huh – go figure; I always get erections when I go through tunnels.

  • Daniel Pasadena

    Our future leaders!

  • Sue

    What I can’t understand is why he passed out in the first place. The article stated that the tunnel is 772 feet long and if going the posted speed limit takes only 10 seconds to pass through. Who can’t hold their breath for 10 seconds?? I think there was something else going on there.

  • Cancelled

    I’ve never heard of this superstition, but it proves once again that you can’t fix stupid.