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.
54 thoughts on “Maine Man Dies After Attempting To Launch Firework From Top Of His Head On The Fourth of July”
Shooting fireworks off his head??? This guy must be a gay, male model! Remember this:
the Boston Bomber bought fireworks on the open market. That alone should give you pause
There are all sorts of things that people can buy on the open market to create bombs. Ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. Amomonium nitrate is found in fertilizer and those quick freeze icepacks people use in their lunchboxes. Ban those?. Bombs can be triggered by cell phones. Shall we ban those? I wouldn’t mind on that one :-). Pipes of different sizes. End caps. Ball bearings. Pressure cookers.
We can’t ban everything because some one is an idiot (puts a firecracker up his whazzoo) or because common ingredients can be put together in dangerous ways.
The last pair of binoculars I bought had a stern warning, “DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN W/ THIS PRODUCT.”
Think about it, please, before you or DBQ make the irrational argument to ban anything that could possibly be dangerous, like hairdryers and toasters.
Perhaps you need to re-read my initial comment. I am not suggesting banning anything. I find it ridiculous that we need to have such obvious warnings on everyday household items because some moron decided to put his fingers into a moving blender or my favorite moron warning…..on a from window sun shield for your auto to remove it before driving. DOH!! If you are incapable of operating common household items, feel tempted to drink bleach, put bombs on top of your head…..that isn’t my fault.
Fireworks present an entirely different challenge, where untrained and unprotected individuals are handling potentially deadly explosive devices, the stability of which cannot be verified. Add in some alcohol and a few innocent bystanders, and you now have a recipe for disaster
Anyone who doesn’t realize that things that are explosive and go BOOM can be dangerous is beyond stupid and all the training in the world isn’t going to “fix stupid”. So you want to ban fireworks AND alcohol too? What else do you want to ban because less than 1% of the population is too stupid to be able to function.
No need to ban outdoor pools or rooftops because someone chose to do something so outrageous as attempting to jump off the roof and land in a nearby pool. There will always be idiots among us, who throw caution to the wind. Fireworks, by their very nature, fall into a completely different category. Think about it, please, before you or DBQ make the irrational argument to ban anything that could possibly be dangerous, like hairdryers and toasters. Fireworks present an entirely different challenge, where untrained and unprotected individuals are handling potentially deadly explosive devices, the stability of which cannot be verified. Add in some alcohol and a few innocent bystanders, and you now have a recipe for disaster. Aside from this, we have evidence that the Boston Bomber bought fireworks on the open market. That alone should give you pause. Lumping all products together, assigning the same degree of inherent danger to each, is a poor argument, especially from you.
Unlike you, I don’t view this young man’s death as attrition and as something beneficial to the gene pool, as you so brazenly suggest.
Am I happy that this moron decided to put an explosive item on top of his head and light it off? Of course not. However, if this is the level of his intelligence it is a good thing that he removed himself from the gene pool sooner than later and before he took out some innocent bystanders.
Had he been deprived of an opportunity to handle such deadly and often unpredictable materials, he would still be alive today.
He would still have found another way to screw up his life. As pointed out, he would have jumped off the roof of a house or any of the other idiot stunts on that Jackass program.
My issue is with those who want to use his stupid action as YET another way to control and diminish the freedoms of the rest of us, who are not fools. The majority of the people in the US survived the 4th of July. I do believe that society as a whole is not as stupid and childish as believed.
If YOU find these things dangerous, then good for you for knowing your own limits and restricting your own access to fireworks.
Unlike you, I don’t view this young man’s death as attrition and as something beneficial to the gene pool, as you so brazenly suggest. This fool, yes, fool, was probably drunk and thought that he was being cute and funny. It is a tragic and senseless loss of life because someone was too inebriated to grasp the danger of what he was doing. Had he been deprived of an opportunity to handle such deadly and often unpredictable materials, he would still be alive today. I’m sure that his grieving family would appreciate hearing from you that his death was, as you put it, a good thing for the gene pool. Do you say that to grieving friends or family mourning the loss of a loved one? I’ll bet that you are a blast at a wake.
If you wish to live your life in the outback, with no access to community life or public displays of fireworks, that is your choice. That is YOU. Society doesn’t base its laws and regulations upon YOU; rather, a much broader scope is used to determine was is best for society, as a whole. If you have an exploding hair dryer or blender, I suggest that you contact your local electrician. I believe that you may have a short.
bam bam – this is the same kid who will jump off the roof of the house into the backyard pool and miss, thus killing himself. Should we ban backyard pools?
Potentially deadly device.
Of course, education is a valuable tool. My comment wasn’t about detracting from the importance of education in all aspects of our lives. It’s because of the basic knowledge that I do possess, with regard to the dangers surrounding untrained individuals handling and using fireworks, that I come down on the side of removing them from public access. The lack of regulation on a product, such as this, which could potentially maim and/or kill, is unwise. Obviously, the other members of the holiday celebration were educated enough to grasp the dangers surrounding what this young man was doing and tried to persuade him to refrain from proceeding. That education, however, had no impact, since that education, expressed to the young man in the form of a warning, did not alter his conduct. Please let me know what compelling need within a sane and civilized society is satisfied by allowing an explosive and potentially device to be sold to the public.
bam bam – ignorance can be overcome, stupid is forever.
Had fireworks been inaccessible to the general public, which is the way that it should be, this young man would still be alive today.
@ bam bam
This person’s stupidity should not be used to affect or punish everyone else. He would have found yet another way to harm himself.
There are NO local fireworks displays for some people. Not everyone is YOU. Not everyone lives where you do. Not everyone enjoys crowds of strangers. Just ask the guy in Cincinnati who got beat to a pulp.
There is a compelling need to allow people to take care of their own lives and not be over regulated. Fireworks and all kinds of other products are loaded with warnings and advisory language. Some people are just idiots and that’s too bad…..for them. The majority of the people who used fireworks, guns, drive cars, use blenders, hair driers and all sorts of power tools don’t have any problems and and should not be punished for the stupidity of some. If you feel incapable of using those items, then that is your issue. Not mine.
Attrition. It can be a good thing for the gene pool. That wasn’t a joke.
Just because one attempt at educating someone didn’t work out does not detract from the all important place of education in events such as this. Sometimes it is a combination of regulation and education. In this free country as well as most others, education is the way one learns. I am surprised to see you come out with the blanket interdiction approach. Nick has names for people like that.
Why test faith when you can just be “normal” and leave it to the professonials who are paid to display fireworks. Real a-hole.
By the way, davidm2575, as Nick so correctly pointed out, unfettered access to fireworks means that some bad actors, like the Boston Bomber, will have access as well. They won’t be using them to celebrate the 4th of July, that’s for sure. Educate all you want about the dangers of various explosive and deadly products, but insisting that they be easily available for anyone to obtain and use, for any reason– the innocuous or the nefarious–makes no sense from a broader societal view. A libertarian view run amok.
bam bam – I got my fireworks knowledge from my father and neighbor kids. The kids had more mythology than knowledge.
Yes, to answer your question. Had fireworks been inaccessible to the general public, which is the way that it should be, this young man would still be alive today. I don’t view this as Darwinism. I don’t believe that he had a death wish. I don’t believe that he wished to harm himself or others. I believe that he was drunk, ill-equipped and untrained to be handling combustible and deadly products. Period. Had a product like this been inaccessible to the masses and not viewed as some strange right of passage on the 4th of July, this young man would still be alive today. Bottom line, there is no compelling need on the part of society to have fireworks sold like candy. None. Want to view a fireworks display? No problem. Go. Let professionals handle the materials and sit back and enjoy. Bring hand grenades into the schools so the kiddies can learn to use them? Are you f’ing kidding?
Was killed, not as killed.
If, as you claim, that education is the answer–and his friends were actually warning him, in person, in real time, as the act was about to occur, to refrain from attempting this hazardous and imbecilic behavior–this one episode is a perfect example of education not protecting individuals or society. Some substances, materials and items–like fireworks–should only be handled by professionals. Go see your local fireworks display. Bring a blanket, mosquito repellent and enjoy. Allow professionals, trained to handle these items, to do so. Unfortunately, sometimes, individuals need protection in the form of limiting or denying access to certain materials which are inherently dangerous when utilized without the proper training or protective clothing. There is no compelling need within a society for unlimited access to fireworks, and even warnings to this individual went unheeded. Draconian measures in limiting any yahoo’s access to highly combustible and potentially deadly products? In this case, only the young man as killed. Others, who are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, are also at great risk when they are even in the vicinity of someone like this.
Bam bam, do you really think that if fireworks were against the law that it would have magically made this person not try this stunt?
What I mean by education is not his friends saying, “don’t try it.” I mean that in school, students should be taught about fireworks, how they work, how they misfire and how injuries happen. The kids should bring fireworks to school and taught how to work with them. They should also include working with other explosives like hand grenades too. We should restore the education of firearms where they bring weapons to school for target practice and learn the responsible way of working with firearms. Firearm safety should be taught in elementary school. People need to be taught responsibility, duties and obligations, and shame should be taught regarding those who are irresponsible, like this guy Devon Staples who killed himself. Definitely include Devon Staples in their textbook.
From the ‘glass half full’ perspective, the idiot is gone and won’t endanger anyone else’s life, and he didn’t kill anyone else. Call it what you will, divine intervention or Darwinian selection, as I posted earlier evolution, it works.
Drinks and fireworks do not mix.
I feel so bad for this man’s family, to have lost him in such a senseless way.
All Disney facilities have great fireworks displays. Surely they had some safety lesson on working around fireworks.
No, my mom brought my inbred ways to Minneapolis when I was 2. I’m sure it was to escape other relatives looking for future mating partners. Were you actually compensated for your “professional investigative” services? 😉
Olly, I thought you were born in Minnesota. The town I grew up in Ct. had many Mainiacs move down. Most were originally from Quebec, spent a generation or 2 in Maine picking potatoes, and then came to Ct. to get good paying factory jobs. They spoke French in the home and were as white trashy as any hillbilly from down south. I’m stereotyping, of course. But, many fit the stereotype that has been passed down over generations.
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