Woman dies trying to hide lawn darts from grandkids

CHARLES CITY—Joanie Hager, 53, fell to her death Monday while attempting to haul a box of lawn darts (also known as Jarts) from her garage to the attic in anticipation of a visit from her grandsons.

Hager apparently lost her footing while ascending the attic ladder, crashing to the hardwood floor below. She died instantly.

“Apparently, one of the circular tubes that is used to create the ‘bullseye’ snaked its way out of the box, looped around her foot, and caused the tumble,” said Charles City police officer Jake Stephens. “It’s a shame this family hadn’t yet transitioned over to Baggo for their lawn toss tomfoolery.”

Hager was found by her daughter, Connie Lance, who was bringing her two boys, Jeffrey and Alex, over for a visit.

“Why would she bother hiding those things?” Lance said between sobs. “She knows these lazy lugs [gestures at her kids] never set foot outside the house, other than to get to somebody else’s TV, video game system, or computer.”

Jarts, which have been banned from sale in the United States since 1988, have caused deaths in the past, but none since 1997. The Hagers had bought the Jarts set back in the early ’80s, but according to Lance, the set hadn’t been used since her brother, Greg “Cyclops” Hager, was injured in a heated Jarts match during a neighborhood block party in 1985.

Stephens said that although a single Jart was found jutting out of Joanie Hager’s left shoulder, the puncture certainly had nothing to do with the multiple fractures and myriad internal injuries that quickly sealed her fate.

“No, the fact that Mrs. Hager was found to have a Jart lodged in her upper torso was nothing more than irony,” Stephens said. “Or would that be coincidence? Or symbolism of some sort? Shit, I dunno.”

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