A Maine man and part-time Disney cast member, Devon Staples ended his life in a senseless and careless way this Fourth of July by trying to launch a firework off the top of his head at a party. The firework exploded and killed him.
The friends had been drinking at the party in Calais, Maine when Staples decided to try the stunt. Fireworks are legal in Maine. The firework was a mortar tube design.
Staples was working as a dog walker but previously worked as a Disney cast member playing Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and other characters. His brother Cody was standing just a few feet away when he died. His brother said that Staples was holding a lighter that caused the firework to explode prematurely but it is not clear how that would happen.
His friends reportedly tried to convince him not to do the stunt but he set off the firework, though his brother says it was accidental.
As many of you know, I am a big fan of fireworks on the Fourth of July and I have favored laws that allow adults to use fireworks on the holiday. Clearly there are dangers and the combination of holiday drinks and pyrotechnics are not a good mix as tragically shown by Staples.
Staples was just 22.