A Maine man died over the weekend after trying to launch a firework from his head. According to first responders, the man’s death was instantaneous.
Devon Michael Staples, 22, was celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with family and friends in Calais ME, near the Canadian border, when he decided to undertake the dangerous stunt.
According to Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, Staples had been drinking, put a reloadable mortar tube atop his head, and threatened to light the fuse.
“His friends they thought dissuaded him from doing it,” said McCausland, “and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly.”
Staples’ brother Cody, 25, said that the whole thing was an accident–that his brother had been holding a lighter, and the lighter “accidentally” caused the firework to go off.
“I was the first one who got there,” Cody told the New York Daily News.
There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there. It was a freak accident….But 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.
Cody said that Devon lived in Orlando, and was once employed by Disney World, where he loved interacting with people.
“He loved making people happy,” said Cody. “Anyone who would want to give a tribute to Devon should go out and do something nice for someone. Show some love to someone you don’t know. That kid was all about showing people love.”
The “RIP Devon Michael Staples” Facebook group has gone live in response to Staples’ death and some of the less tasteful response it’s garnered. The page is full of condolences and well-wishes; you can go there to share your own thoughts.
(Photo credit: RIP Devon Michael Staples Facebook page)