Fourth of July tragedy: Man dies after trying to launch firework off the top of his head
CALAIS, Maine — Authorities said a 22-year-old man died after he launched a firework off the top of his head on Saturday night, July 4th.
WCSH reported that 22-year-old Devon Staples and his friends were drinking at the time of the incident. It reportedly happened in the backyard of one of Staples’ friend’s homes in Calais, Maine.
According to the state Department of Public Safety, Staples placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off. He died instantly after the firework exploded.
The victim's brother, Cody Staples, told the New York Daily News it was an accident. He said his brother was holding a lighter and it accidentally caused the firework to go off.
“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,” his brother said. “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.”
Staples lives in Orlando where he used to work at Disney World. He was most recently working as a dog walker.
Officials say this is the first fireworks-attributed death in Maine since they were legalized two years ago.