Speed Reads

Friends don't let friends drive breathless

Here's proof that only passengers should hold their breath while passing through tunnels


I used to play this game when I was a kid, too. The reasons why — superstition, to make a wish, to see who can make it to the other side — varied depending on who was in the car. But the rule was always the same — when you drive through a tunnel, you hold your breath.

One teen in Oregon recently proved the childish tradition is in need of an amendment. What might have gone unspoken should now be stated out loud: Only passengers should voluntarily go without air while the car passes through a tunnel. With such knowledge, Daniel Calhon, 19, might have avoided his current legal mess.

On Sunday, while traveling through a tunnel northwest of Portland, the Washington resident reportedly held his breath and fainted. His car drifted across the centerline and crashed head-on with a Ford Explorer. Luckily the three-car pile up caused only non-life-threatening injuries to four people.

But Calhon now faces citations for reckless driving, three counts of reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree assault. Tunnel-driving breath-holders, take note.