Hearing about it more and more.
here's the article
Waterford - Ask Fred Klorczyk to share the passions of his son, Christian, and he takes you to the garage.
Walking down a few steps, Klorczyk stops in front of a huge, black Craftsman toolbox. Pulling out a few drawers, he uncovers tools for every task imaginable.
Screwdrivers. Crescent wrenches. Mallets. All organized perfectly. All the "Private Property of Christian R. Klorczyk, Hisself," as noted by the toolbox's personalized inscription.
The rest of the garage is kept in similar fashion, with cans of WD-40, bottles of transmission fluid and car parts all lined neatly on shelves within arm's reach.
"This is him," Klorczyk said of his son on Sunday afternoon. "This isn't my other sons. This is him."
Indeed, the care Christian Klorczyk showed in working on cars and other projects will be one thing his friends and family remember most about him.
The 21-year-old died Friday after a BMW he was working on collapsed on him in the family garage. Fred Klorczyk said that a floor jack likely failed while his son was under the car changing the oil.
Christian, a Waterford High School graduate, was a senior at the University of Connecticut and was studying finance. A dean's list student, according to his parents, Christian also had a passion for snowboarding and race cars - and a knack for sarcasm and well-timed jokes.
He was usually smiling, his best friend, Jordan Ransom, said Sunday. And Ransom learned firsthand that he could count on Christian.
When Ransom lost his spleen in a snowboarding accident in Colorado two years ago, it was Christian and his older brother, Frederick, who helped keep Ransom, 21, in high spirits through an emergency surgical procedure and a weeklong recovery.
"You could tell every time you ran into him that he was such a positive person. He's never really been one to get down about too much," said Ransom, also a UConn student. "He's always looking at the brighter side of things. He's a great person to be around every day."
Lynne Klorczyk, Christian's mother and a Waterford High School teacher, recounted a story Sunday in which Christian and his brothers, Frederick and Parker, now 18, set up a makeshift toll booth in front of a Nordstrom in a mall. The boys solicited patrons for $1 bills.
Similar mischief was commonplace for the three boys, although they were forced to grow up ahead of schedule, according to their father. About eight years ago, Fred Klorczyk, an engineer who is now group vice president at MISTRAS Group, said he underwent a high-risk procedure to correct a degenerative disc disease.
Before and after the surgery, his sons were left to take on responsibilities around the house. That left Christian as the family handyman.
"All I can say is, he became a man. He didn't cause problems," Fred Klorczyk said.
Christian was also a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at UConn and worked in London for a hedge fund two years ago. He decided against attending law school recently, his father said, and was considering his post-graduation career options.
His older brother said that he could envision Christian finding a way to stay involved with cars or snowboarding. Frederick Klorczyk added that he'll always remember his brother's upbeat disposition.
"Really his smile. That's who he was," Frederick Klorczyk said. "He was always happy."
Here's the bimmerforums thread where the father replies.
I feel that I must respond to this post for the sake of accuracy, the honor of my son and family name and also to attempt to save other lives.
Lynne and I are the parents of three sons, Frederick III, Christian, Parker and our "adopted sons", his twin brother Jordan, Dimitri and Dan - all "carguys".
As stated in the article....
"The 21-year-old died Friday after a BMW he was working on collapsed on him in the family garage. Fred Klorczyk said that a floor jack likely failed while his son (Christian) was under the car changing the oil."
Jeff Johnson did a great job on the article on our son, brother and friend and I thank him for that. Jeff was a true gentleman who talked to us for hours in our darkest times to get an accurate depiction of our son and family. However, and unfortunately we do not have it on tape, nor is Jeff a "gearhead" and doesn't really understand jacks, jackstands and multiple layers of safety. I never said, nor is it accurate to say "that a floor jack likely failed..."
Christian is an experienced mechanic who started working on cars and following Formula 1 when he was a small child. He and our whole family witnessed Ayrton "Magic" Senna die at Tamburello 15 years ago. Yes, Christian was only six at the time and he would wake all of us up at 6:30AM to watch the pre-race show in Italy on satellite.
Christian is a true car guy as are his brothers and friends. My business is in the most safety conscious market in the world - nuclear boats, nuclear ships and nuclear power plants. That mentality is my life - has been since I was a kid engineer out of school. Ask any of my employees how I feel about safety. They have the right to stop any job and call me at anytime as no one is to ever get injured on our jobsites. This naturally carried over to my homelife. By the way, my father was a large machine mechanic by trade and a "gearhead" by avocation. No one would use the wrong tools - we have them all and all are of quality. No one in my garage or driveway would ever go under a car with only a jack of any kind holding it up. The jack elevates the car, jackstands support at proper points while working underneath and the jack is removed to improve accessibility. Period. Block the wheels if necessary. Emergency brake on. Car in gear. A lift would be better but we just were not at that point in our lives yet.
Christian had the right front tire off so that he could shine his double halogen lights on the work area and see clearly. He also had that tire/wheel under the right front rotor as an extra measure of safety as is a habit of ours when possible. He had four ton Craftsman jackstands in use. Two were just bought at Christmas when I sent him to buy a new jack since ours is getting to be five years old. Hydraulic cylinders and seals degrade over time. He didn't buy the jack since he felt what Sears, etc., had were junk so he bought more four ton stands but without safety pins. I did not realize there were redundant safety stands until... it was too late.
Christian was using my father's creeper for the first time. He found the creeper when cleaning the garage over Christmas. When he applied torque to the ratchet handle to break the plug loose, he experienced the law of physics of "equal and opposite reaction". As the plug broke loose, the creeper did also in a direction opposite to the torque vector Christian applied. Some part of Christian's body, some part of the creeper, the mallet beside him, something - we have no video, just supposition and theory... tripped the right front jackstand lever inadvertantly from the underside and a ton of the BMW E46 3 series xi crushed his chest and his right cheekbone. He never took, or could even attempt to take a second breath. Death was immediate and painless. If I were beside him at the time this occurred I could have done nothing to save him. This has been verified by five friends of mine who are doctors. I used the floorjack Christian used to elevate the car to get the car off of him. It was parallel to the car just as he would place it when he removed it from the jackpoint. I had to engage the cylinder with clockwise rotation which tells me Christian removed it per proper procedure. I had the jack underneath and car off him in seconds. Jackstands were under before I crawled from under the valance while Lynne called 911. Lynne came under with me from the wheelwell and had a pulse on his neck. She said he it was strong. I was doing chest compressions and trying to get a verbal response until the EMTs got there. When I heard LIFESTAR waved off over the EMT radios I had a sick, sick feeling.
A critical factor, in my professional engineering opinion, is that the creeper raised his body 3.5" higher than it would have been if he would have been working on the concrete as he was used to. It also raised his head 4.5" higher as there is a foam pillow headrest. Both creeper caster wheels at the head position were sheared from the creeper. I can only wonder that if Christian did not use the creeper would he have had the jackstands that high, would the energy at 9.8 m/sec squared have been decreased to a minimum so that if the freak accident happened he would have been injured less, would the extra measure of the tire under the rotor have saved his life without the extra creeper height, would he be alive today? Only God knows.
Christian is a fine, fine man who was known for his smile, intelligence, passion and willingness to help anyone at anytime... just like all of his brothers and "adopted brothers". The five of them and myself were his pall bearers. He would have it no other way. We were that close.
Also, to my fellow "carguys" and "gearheads", please learn from this tragedy. Scrap your cheapo jackstands... do your research, find the best jackstands there are, use the secondary and tertiary safety factors, do not fall to the temptation of human nature and operator error - use the extra safety factors! It may save your life, or maybe the life of you son. Had I would have known such Christian would be with us today.
Lastly, if you want to drive fast please do not do it on the road. Racetracks are readily available for that adrenaline rush we all crave. Track days with instructors are cheap and you are protected far more than
Godspeed Christian! May you be driving God's Veyron for him.
Please feel free to cut and past this article anywhere you think it may prove valuable to fellow "carguys". I pray that none of you ever suffer such a tragedy. May God Bless you all.
Frederick J. Klorczyk, Jr.
Cliffs: 21 year old gets crushed by his e46 when one of the jackstands gets knocked out from underneath the car, safety precautions were made but he was on a creeper, which elevated him. (speculation)
I also heard of a Honda guy in Hamilton get crushed to death from the same thing happening last week.
Really Sad. Be safe guys.