Fireworks stunt kills 22-year-old man instantly

Posted at 8:26 AM, Jul 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-06 08:26:30-04

A backyard July Fourth celebration in Maine turned tragic when a 22-year-old man was killed after attempting a fireworks stunt.

The Portland Press Herald reported that Devon Staples was killed instantly after trying to launch fireworks from inside a mortar tube sitting atop his head. The incident happened around 10 p.m. on Saturday, according to fire officials.

An official told the newspaper that Staples was, "partying and drinking with friends in a friend's backyard" when the tragedy happened. His friends apparently tried to talk Staples out of doing the stunt but he proceeded and was killed when the exploding device caused a fatal head injury.

Staples' death was the state's first of the kind since fireworks were legalized by Maine in 2012, according to WCSH6 television. Several other people suffered fireworks-related injuries in the state during the holiday weekend.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.