South Bay man describes being seriously injured by wayward fireworks

SAN JOSE — A South Bay man who suffered severe burns to his legs along with his wife and a friend while walking past an illegal Fourth of July fireworks display is speaking publicly about his experience, calling out those responsible and warning others to avoid them amateur exhibitions.

The injured man, who agreed to be photographed at his bedside at Valley Medical Center’s burn facility but asked that his name not be used, recalled being outside in Alviso about an hour before midnight when he and his dinner companions saw a group of people put one. of fireworks in the street.

Illegal fireworks are set off during the Fourth of July in Alviso. The makeshift box containing the fireworks tipped over and injured a South Bay man who suffered severe burns to his legs along with his wife and a friend. He speaks publicly about his experience calling out the people responsible for his injuries and warning others to avoid these amateur shows. (YouTube)

He recalled being about 10 meters from the scene when, in a moment captured on video by his friend, the box of powerful fireworks tipped and sent rockets in his direction. Before he could react, he said he was on the ground with severe burns on his legs and large patches of missing skin and saw his wife and a woman they had suffering from similar injuries.

“We started walking on the side and passing it and just walking away,” the man said. “And then in a second, that was it. We were on the floor, burning. Our skin was falling off our legs.”

In the face of their obvious injuries, he remembered that the fireworks didn’t stop going off. And when they asked for someone on the crowded sidewalk to call for help, he said he and his injured companion were discouraged from calling 911.

They did anyway, and while his friend was being taken away by ambulance, he said he and his wife drove themselves to get to a hospital. He is currently being treated for second and third degree burns on his right arm and both legs. He is expected to receive skin grafts to help treat his injuries.

The man’s story is reminiscent of one of several high-profile injuries the burn community has seen since the days leading up to the Fourth of July, says Dr. Clifford Sheckter, director of the regional burn center at Valley Medical Center. That includes a man who was reportedly disfigured after a firework exploded in his face, and another man who lost his testicles in a firework-related accident.

Sheckter said he expected upwards of 100 burns — mostly adults — from the holiday stretch. The numbers are in flux, he said, because people have been showing up for days depending on when they decided to get medical help.

“Unfortunately, our efforts to prevent these injuries have not been successful this year. We’ve had one of the worst years for these types of accidents,” Sheckter said. “I hope people with these types of consequences understand the seriousness of what’s happening .”

The man injured in the Alviso fireworks accident said he was speaking out to tell the public to learn from his experience and stay away from amateur fireworks displays. He said the side of the street he was standing on was sparsely populated, but the opposite sidewalk had nearly 70 people.

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