Man Tragically Dies After Launching Fireworks From His Head On July 4

A Maine man died on the Fourth of July after a joke about setting fireworks off his head went horribly wrong.

According to ABC News, 22-year-old Devon Staples was enjoying an Independence Day party filled with drinking and watching fireworks at a friend's backyard in Calais, Maine when he decided to put a fireworks mortar tube on top of his head.

Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the State Department of Public Safety, told ABC News Devon humorously threatened to light the mortar tube over his head while friends warned him of the danger at hand.

The Washington Post reports McCausland said,

Apparently, [Devon] thought that was a great idea. His friends they thought dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly.

Devon's 25-year-old brother, Cody, told the New York Daily News his brother accidentally activated a lighter he was holding and that caused the fireworks to explode.

Cody Staples said he was standing just five feet from his brother, who recently became engaged and lived in Orlando.

Staples told the Daily News,

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.

Fireworks have been legal in Maine since January 1, 2012 and had no caused no deaths in the state until Staples' accident.

Citations: Maine man dies after launching firework off his head (New York Daily News), Man Shoots off Firework From Top of His Head Dies Instantly (ABC News)