A Florida man blew his own hand off after a firework he was holding exploded while he was riding in a pickup truck over the weekend, according to local law enforcement.
Deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department arrived to the scene near the 2000 block of Newmark Drive in Deltona at around 1.20am on Saturday after getting numerous calls about a loud explosion and that a firework had blown up in a man’s hand.
There deputies found 27-year-old Corey Waugh laying on the ground, holing his left hand which was bleeding profusely. The driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Kyle Lafleur, was holding onto Waugh’s left arm.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Deputies found Corey Waugh, 27, holding his hand as he lay on the 2000 block of Newmark Drive in Deltona at around 1.20am on Satuday
Photos shared by the deputies also show the aftermath of the explosion on Lafleur’s vehicle – a blue Dodge pickup. The front windshield, rear glass and side windows were all blown out, the News-Journal reports.
A tourniquet was used to slow Waugh’s bleeding and the man was taken to the Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford.
Lafleur told authorities that he was disoriented after the blast and that he struggled hearing out of his left ear. He added that prior to the blast, all he remembered was lighting a cigarette.
At the scene, deputies found a rocket-propelled aerial cluster burst firework inside the pickup truck. They claimed that it looked as if Waugh lit the fuse while holding it in his hand.
Deputies said no foul play or criminal behavior was suspected.
Photos shared by the deputies also show the aftermath of the explosion on Lafleur’s vehicle – a blue Dodge pickup
The front windshield, rear glass and side windows were all blown out and blood was splashed across the vehicle
‘The fusing system on the starburst projectile is a no-delay fuse system which caused the projectile to explode immediately in the victim’s hand once introduced to the flame of the lighter causing significant injury to the victim’s left hand,’ deputies added.
Brian Waugh, Corey’s father, took to GoFundMe to say that the duo had purchased the fireworks for their New Year’s celebration and added that they had been going to the store to buy cigarettes.
The driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Kyle Lafleur, was holding onto Waugh’s left arm at the scene
The father stated that Lafleur had been finishing up with a cigarette when he decided to toss it outside. But instead of landing outside the vehicle, the cigarette ‘flew back into the vehicle and landed in the backseat with the fireworks.’
He added that Corey noticed the cigarette ignite the mortar shell.
‘When Corey realized that the cigarette ignited the mortar shell, he immediately went into action, reached into the backseat, grabbed the mortar shell and tried to throw it out of his, the passenger door, window,’ Brian explained.
The father continued: ‘Corey lost at least 80% of his left hand (maybe more…we don’t know the full extent of the damage yet), both of his eardrums were perforated causing hearing damage, possible damage to his eyes (again…we don’t know yet) and he sustained 3rd degree burns on his face.’
Brian Waugh said his son was undergoing multiple surgeries as doctors try to salvage the ‘remaining pieces of Corey’s hand.’
At the scene, deputies found a rocket-propelled aerial cluster burst firework inside the pickup truck
Friends and family have rallied behind Waugh, who is currently sedated at a local hospital
Describing him as ‘outgoing’ and as someone who ‘loves the outdoors,’ Brian added that ‘this is going to be a major setback for Corey regarding his physical abilities and his emotional state.’
Brian declared: ‘Corey is in a time of need. His world has been completely turned upside down. Corey needs us now more than ever. He needs us to help him recover from this tragedy.
‘He is going to need his friends, his family and and anyone else who can empathize with his situation to assist him with his physical needs, his emotional needs, his psychological needs and his financial needs.’
In a later update, Brian shared that his son was finally coming to after being sedated for several days. Corey and his family are currently waiting on plastic surgeons and hand surgeons to inform them on what the next steps will be.
The GoFundMe for Corey Waugh is asking for $100,000 but has raised just over $3,700.