Another Example of Why You Should Never Lift Weights Alone

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The name John Ashe is certainly not a familiar one. Dr. Ashe was the former president of the UN General Assembly from 2013-2014. A diplomat from the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, he was under a federal criminal indictment in a bribery and tax fraud case involving real estate transactions in China. He was also scheduled to appear in court Monday, June 27, with his co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, previously implicated in a 1998 Clinton administration-era funding scandal concerning funds funneled to the DNC through Arkansas restaurant owner Charlie Trie.


John Ashe died in his home in Dobbs Ferry, NY, on Wednesday June 22, from the effects of a barbell crush injury to his throat sustained on the bench press in his home gym. He was apparently alone at the time.

Bench press injuries are very serious, and 10-12 people in the US die every year from them. They almost always happen when the victim is training alone, without spotters, or without protection from the bar using proper equipment. Experienced lifters know this, and I have written about it extensively.

My questions for the Westchester County authorities investigating this incident: What weight was loaded on the barbell when Dr. Ashe was found, and how much was Dr. Ashe actually capable of benching? Somebody knows these numbers. If, for example, he was a 225-pound bencher and 405 was on the bar, this suggests either a critical lapse in judgement, or a different explanation for the unfortunate choice of the attempted weight.


The folks in the Dobbs Ferry Police Department would do well to analyze their crime scene evidence with this in mind.


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