What doesn't kill us makes us stronger
That said, sad to hear about the sobering experience in the passing of your friend Kevin.
I certainly got lucky a time or two around that age. Most memorable was backing a wagon into a low shed with an IH M series tractor. Was trying to get it nudged under the shed, knew the hood was too high to go under the shed roof, but forgot that meant the steering wheel was, too. Got me pinched just enough to divert my attention to throwing the M into 1st gear. If my foot had slipped on the clutch instead of grabbing the gear, well, it might be a story to inspire greater wisdom in others, too.
I use a hydraulic bottle jack in the garage. Have often thought of adding a cradle to the top of it. @LandCruiserPhil , I think I'll borrow your idea. great price on yours, but sending a chunk of steel downunder would cost more than the part, plus our $ is pissweak
I have 3 sets of jack stands in my garage, I always put jack stands under the car if it's up off the floor.
If I'm in the field, and have a wheel off, it goes straight under the chassis rail for a half measure of safety. I agree with above, it might not stop me getting pinned (being a little thicker than I was), but it should stop me getting crushed.
When using jackstands, pay attention to the rating. A pair of "6 ton jackstands" is typically the strength of the pair. Each stand can support 3 tons. That rating has the assurance of the company that made them. My jackstands are from Harbor Freight. They are cast, and I assume cast poorly. I once broke a jackstand supporting a Chevy Blazer. My Landcruiser is almost as heavy. I don't know the rating on the stand I broke. My current HF jackstands are the 12 ton stands.
When I take a tire off my truck, I slide it under the frame, even when I put my truck on jackstands.