Walled Lake man dies after putting firework next to head

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Walled Lake — A 47-year-old man died Sunday night after jokingly placing a powerful firecracker to his head, believing that it wasn't lit.

It was.

Police says alcohol was involved in the incident, which occurred at about 9 p.m. in the 1500 block of Quinif Drive in an area north of Pontiac Trail and east of South Commerce Drive.

The man was identified as Scott Jeffers. The Oakland County Medical Examiners office conducted an autopsy and ruled his death an accident.

"We received a call about a medical emergency involving fireworks," Walled Lake Police Chief Paul Shakinas said. "We found a resident in the backyard with severe trauma to the back of his head. We were not able to revive him."

According to Shakinas, the incident occurred in front of the Jeffers' family.

"As you can imagine, they are devastated by what occurred," he said. "Alcohol was a factor in what happened. We are urging everyone to use caution while using fireworks. Fireworks and alcohol do not mix."

Police say the incident remains under investigation.

There have been several other notable mishaps with fireworks within the last year.

On July 5, a Detroit man died when a misguided firework slammed into his chest during a family barbecue. Mahir Aburouman was grilling with friends when he allegedly lit a rocket, which struck him in the chest instead of flying into the air.

On July 4, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) chief meteorologist Dave Rexroth lost an eye to a fireworks explosion while vacationing with his family in Iowa. After having his eye replaced, Rexroth returned to work in early September.

As the July Fourth holiday nears, the state fire marshal said those setting off fireworks should use caution.

"Fireworks are a risky thrill and are best left to professionals," State Fire Marshal Richard Miller said.

Fireworks injuries accounted for 11,400 emergency room visits and eight deaths in 2013, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.


(313) 222-2023

Detroit News Staff Writer Mike Martindale contributed.