This could have been easily avoided if he’d used jack stands.
Same with just changing a tire. Far too many people jack it up first . .and THEN attempt to break the lug nuts free ! yanking and jerking away at them - not noticing how much they’re rocking the car - and before you know it . . !!
Even the police forget. My daughter had a left rear flat on her mustang near Albuquerque once and soon after she pulled over a state cop stopped to assist. She told him she could do it but for him to help . .? . . he could go over there and get a couple of big rocks.
Yes, he looked at her a bit bewildered but soon snapped and got the rocks that she put under the right front tire.
Then she got out the lug wrench and began to break the nuts free when he piped up ‘’ aren’t you going to jack it up first ?’’
’’ Hell no ‘’ she said ''I’ll knock it off the jack if I do that ! gotta break ‘em loose first.’'
By then he conceded that he was already out-matched but nicely stayed to assist anyway.
About half a dozen or so years ago the wife of a good friend of mine since high school was crushed to death when her car fell on her.
She had a '65 Thunderbird and was doing something to it one weekend. She had a pair of drive on ramps made of 2 X 8x and 4 X 4s. These were heavy, sturdy, and had served well for years - until this one time.
One ramp collapsed which led to the other giving way and she was killed almost instantly.
As for why hubby wasn’t the one tinkering with the T-Bird; he’s a paraplegic in a wheelchair. That was the result of a car accident decades ago while on his way back to OK from the naval base in SF, CA.
No seat belt in use, fell asleep at the wheel near Yuma, AZ, was ejected, and the car rolled over him.
I do lift the front end a little to get a little better access but I never crawl under enough so that if it came down it would be a problem. Just me but I’d never be under the thing with a wheel off and I’d be no where near that brake rotor. Not sure why you’d need to pull the wheel to change oil on an HHR but who knows? One thing though, I always have my cell phone handy when I’m working on a car.
Years ago I was helping my BIL install an engine. I was under the car and he was lowering the engine from the hoist and the thing slipped. The engine banged down but the suspension held enough so nothing happened. That’s as close as I ever want to come. A couple years ago the neighbor was under his car with a floor jack. I couldn’t stand it so took my jack stands over to him.
I used to see people working under cars lifted by 2 BUMPER jacks, parked at the curb, in the street, while under the car.
Almost like the ghost of Charles Darwin was hovering nearby ready to say “I told you so…”
Charles Darwin’s theory is proven far to often.
I do the same as bing. I jack it enough to take a bit of load off of the tirel, but not enough to render the wheel’s traction gone. After I “break” the lug nuts, I then jack the tires up off the pavement and remove the lug nuts. To install the new wheel, I reverse the process. Like bing, I never get under the car… or any car supported by only jacks.