Another Man Dies After Shooting Firework Off Body

At least 4 killed by fireworks during Fourth of July celebrations
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2015 7:50 AM CDT
Another Man Dies After Shooting Firework Off Body
Justin Bartek and his son, Braxton.   (GoFundMe)

Another man is dead after reportedly shooting a firework off his own body, this time in Texas. Postal worker Justin Bartek, 30, was setting off fireworks with friends along the Colorado River in Columbus early yesterday when he put a Medieval Knight, a large, tube-shaped firework, on his chest and set it off, witnesses tell ABC 13. He was rushed to Columbus Community Hospital with critical injuries and later died, reports KPRC. "He just had an infectious spirit, whenever you met him you met a friend," says a woman who set up a GoFundMe account to support Bartek's partner and 3-year-old son. "He was the light of many people's lives and the world to the people that knew him, and he would give the world to any that asked."

His death is just the latest involving fireworks in recent days: 22-year-old Devon Staples was killed instantly in Maine after shooting a firework off of his head on July 4. Fox 59 reports James Drake, 41, died in Marion, Indiana, on the same day of blunt force trauma to the face after he went to check on an unexploded shell. "I think he approached one and it went off and struck him in the face," a coroner says. A day later, 44-year-old Jose Magallanes was found dead in northern Indiana after suffering blunt force trauma to the head. His body showed explosion-related injuries from a fireworks accident, police say. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded nine fireworks-related deaths between June 20 and July 20 of last year and noted that among those injured, males age 25-44 made up the biggest group. (Read more about the accident that killed Staples.)

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