RIVIERA BEACH — A 55-year-old father of seven died and another person was critically injured Sunday night after lighting Fourth of July fireworks in Riviera Beach.
Police responded to the incident in the 2500 block of Canterbury South in Lone Pine Estates.
Both victims were transported to a local hospital, but one man, identified as Charles Morris Sr., 55, Riviera Beach, died from his injuries.
"He was the greatest dad you could ever ask for," said Charles Morris Jr., who still does not know exactly how his dad was killed in the accident.
His father was trying to entertain children, grandchildren and neighbors in the Lone Pine Estates subdivision in Riviera Beach.
"It's just hard on the family, like, we're speechless. There's no words to express what’s going on," Charles Morris Jr. said.
William Burris, who lives across the street from the Morris home, said the fireworks seemed louder than normal.
But Burris said the noise stopped, police arrived and from his window, he saw the yellow tape.
“Why do they got tape over there for fireworks?” asked Burris, who learned the answer when word of Morris' death spread through the neighborhood the morning after the tragedy.
"Oh, it was terrible," said Burris. "He was a good guy. He and I were good neighbors."
"My best friend. It's just hard," added Charles Morris Jr., who says police told him fireworks struck his father under the chin.
Riviera Beach police said on July 10 that the second victim, identified as Lukens Derose, 29, died at St. Mary's Hospital as a result of his injuries.
"We're just at a loss for words," added Morris Jr.