Man on kayak seriously injured by fireworks

Fireworks blew gaping holes in these kayaks. (July 2, 2015)

IONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man suffered serious leg injuries Thursday evening in a fireworks accident while he was kayaking, witnesses and Ionia County deputies said.

A witness said the victim was one of five men kayaking on Prairie Creek, northeast of Ionia, at the time. He said they had just launched their kayaks when he heard two explosions behind him. The fireworks left gaping holes in two of the kayaks.

Melinda Guy, a certified nurse’s assistant, said she was in a home next to the creek when she heard the explosions.

“I heard a little bomb, then a huge bomb go off,” she said.

She said she rushed to the creek to find the victim, who appeared to be in shock.

“I came out here. I brought towels. I helped the paramedics wrap him up.”

“His whole lower half of his thigh is gone,” she said. “So they better leave the fireworks to professionals. These guys are amateurs, they’re on the water.”

She said a second kayaker also suffered what appeared to be less-serious back injuries.

It’s still not clear exactly how it happened.

The victim was taken by Aero Med to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. His condition was not immediately available. A witness said the man is from Grand Rapids.

Ionia county deputies said the accident should serve as a warning.

“I think it should be a reminder for people that even though they’re consumer fireworks, they still pose a danger and with all types of explosives you’ve got to watch what you’re doing with them,” Sgt. William Hoskins said.

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