PHOENIX – Arizona man Michael Lewison determined to “catch them all” reached his final Pokéstop Wednesday after he drove off a cliff and died while playing Pokemon GO, determined to catch an elusive Dragonite.
“Michael downloaded Pokémon GO to pass time at work. I thought it would be good for him to finally start getting some exercise, but in a matter of hours he became a raging addict” Lewison’s girlfriend Laura Smith said. “Every time he found a new Pokéstop something changed in him. It was like nothing I had ever seen. Nothing else in life mattered to him. He started showing up late to appointments, completely lost his appetite…he didn’t even show up to his own birthday party yesterday.”
“In a matter of 48 hours, he changed from being my loving boyfriend to an obsessed Pokémon trainer. I didn’t recognize him anymore. He demanded that I no longer call him Michael, but by his username, Hot Sauce Taco.”
Lewison was last seen barreling down an abandoned stretch of road towards the cliff when Dragonite showed up dancing on the guardrail. An Arizona Highway Patrolman tried to stop him before he reached the cliff, but the officer became distracted when he spotted the missing Pikachu he had been searching for all day, just around the corner.
Michael’s car plummeted 200 feet down the mountainside, Lewison still throwing Pokéballs as he fell. Michael was declared dead on impact, which is when things really got weird; as his ghost left its earthly form, it kept playing the game.
Following Michael’s untimely death, his spirit went on to catch 130 more Pokémon and took over 45 new Pokémon gyms. Don’t try and take over Michael’s gyms just yet, though. It’s rumored that he now haunts each one of his gyms as well, burning out any person’s phone that attempts to battle him.
“We can’t explain how it’s happening,” the Arizona coroner’s office said in a statement. “Mr. Lewison is dead, his phone’s dead, but he just continues to catch them all. We’ve tried to remove the phone from his corpse’s hands, but his grip is just too tight.”
“I begged him to stop playing,” Smith said. “When he told me I would have to pry the phone from his cold, dead hands I had no idea he literally meant it.”
To commemorate Michael’s dedication to the game, the app’s developers have made Michael’s crash site the mark of the ultimate Pokémon gym. Following the gym going live, ten other lives have now been lost due to people driving over the cliff to try and claim Lewison’s exclusive gym.