A man who was celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head and died. The man who was identified as Devon Staples was 22 years old. According to a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, Stephen McCausland, the man was together with a group of friends and they were setting off fireworks on Saturday night in the backyard of a house in the small eastern Maine city of Calais.
The man placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and afterwards set it off. He died instantly. The state of Maine legalized fireworks in 2012 and this is the first firework fatality which happened ever since then. In 2011 lawmakers voted to remove the law banning fireworks from 1949 seeing this as a way to create jobs and bring additional revenue.
According to the police the group of friends had been drinking. Devon’s brother, Cody Staples, was just five feet away from his brother when the incident happened. Even though the police considers that the man was trying to launch a firework off the top of his head, Cody Staples says that his death was an accident. According to Devon’s brother the lighter which the man was holding make the firework go off by accident. Cody Staples declared:
”I was the first one who got there. There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there. It was a freak accident. …. But Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh.”
Devon Staples lived in Orlando, Florida. He worked as an actor at Disney World where he entertained children playing different characters from different animations. He also worked as a dog walker.
According to McCausland it is not yet clear whether the firework was on when Staples placed it on his head. The tube which the man used was a reusable mortar shell, but the investigators do not know what the type of firework which the man was trying to shoot was.
Other firework accidents took place on the Fourth of July and most of them involved eye injuries and burs. More details about this incident will most likely be released on Sunday.
Image Source: Daily Mail