Eastridge resident recounts firework event that led to teen’s death

Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2023 at 8:16 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Every year the Amarillo Police Department receives numerous calls over the July 4 Independence Day holiday, and one call was about a 15-year-old who would later die from a firework injury.

The holiday is a time for celebration. However, for one family, it ended in tragedy.

A resident of the Eastridge area recounts what happened and shared how a night of fun quickly turned into a devastating event.

“We knew something was bad because they had pulled the gurney up onto the park, the ambulance had pulled up onto the park area. You could hear him screaming so yeah, it was just a very sad situation,” said the witness.

The resident, who wanted to stay anonymous, says she’s never seen something so heartbreaking.

“I pray for the young man’s family. I don’t know about him, I don’t know anything about him, I just pray for his family,” said the witness.

Sgt. Carla Burr with the Amarillo Police Department says now more than ever, there is a need to realize the dangers associated with the holiday.

“You know we have to continue to say this is not safe, you know children need to be monitored, people need to know what they’re doing, leave it to the professionals, we have to keep doing that,” said Sgt. Burr.

Sgt. Burr says the goal they are looking towards it to provide a way for the community to enjoy the holiday, away from danger.

“Maybe we can look at some options that would kind of help on that day to keep our community safe, but also allow people to get to do what they want to do,” Sgt. Burr said.

While not only responding to normal everyday calls, APD received over 200 calls involving fireworks.

“People need to realize that if you’re going to do it, it is very dangerous and unfortunately you know, we had someone die as a result of fireworks this year,” Sgt. Burr said.