No charges to be filed in fireworks death of 8-year-old San Bernardino boy – San Bernardino Sun

No one will be charged with a crime in the July 4, 2021 death of an 8-year-old boy in an accident involving illegal fireworks in San Bernardino, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said.

Urijah Jacob Roque was fatally injured at a block party on South San Carlo Avenue near the Colton border. Someone lit a mortar-style firework and placed it in a launching tube. The tube tipped over, and when the mortar rocketed out, it struck Urijah in the chest, the San Bernardino Police Department said.

The boy died at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

DA’s spokeswoman Jacquelyn Rodriguez said in a response this week to an inquiry by the Southern California News Group that the decision not to file charges was based mostly on two factors: one, it was difficult to determine specifically who was responsible for lighting the fireworks and two, what happened was considered accidental.

The boy’s death was one of nine fireworks-related deaths nationwide in 2021 reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The report released in 2022 said this was a preliminary figure and that the database, compiled by reports from medical examiners, the media, consumer complaints, lawyer referrals and other government agencies, was likely incomplete.

Not listed among those fatal incidents was the March 16 explosion of a horde of commercial-grade fireworks in Ontario that killed cousins Alex Paez, 38, and Cesar Paez, 20, and damaged numerous homes in the area.

Fireworks injured an estimated 11,500 people nationwide in 2021, the safety commission reported. Between June 18 and July 18, hospitals treated some 8,500 people.

Here is a look at the other eight fireworks deaths, as described by the safety commission. The report did not specify cities:

• In June, a 31-year-old man making fireworks in his basement died in an explosion that caused a wall to collapse.

• In July, a 23-year-old man who lit a firework while holding it at an angle over his head died when one of the devices discharged from the bottom of the tube, striking him in the chest and exploding.

• In July, a 55-year-old man was almost decapitated and died while lighting fireworks using a quick match fuse — a cloth fuse soaked in a flammable mixture.

• In July, 24-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died when a mortar tube tilted and launched a blast that rocketed toward a crowd. Kivlenieks was struck as he tried to flee from a hot tub.

• In July, a 34-year-old man suffered a fatal head injury while lighting commercial-grade fireworks in his front yard with his 10-year-old son. A  neighbor heard a loud bang and saw smoke coming from the ground but did not see a firework launch into the air.

• In July, a 41-year-old man was on a campout with friends when he ignited a mortar shell while holding the tube in his left hand. He was killed when the mortar apparently malfunctioned and projected the firework backward toward him.

• In July, a 55-year-old man on a paddle boat in a bay was fatally injured when he lit a fireworks device that exploded unexpectedly, causing him to fall out of the boat.

• In November, a 35-year-old man died after lighting a large firework device in his hands and suffering a head injury.

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