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Justin Smith (17) was killed when a homemade sparkler bomb exploded on the 4th of July
Published: Jul 07, 2012 @ 3:23 AM
Justin Smith (17)
Jul 04, 2012
Cause of Death:
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The premature explosion of a homemade "sparkler bomb" was being blamed for the death Wednesday night of a Magnolia High School senior, and serious injuries to one of his friends.
According to Lafayette County Chief Deputy Sheriff Pete Richardson, the explosion killed Justin Blake Smith, 17, of Buckner, and hurt Zach Ellis, 17, of Magnolia.
Both Ellis and Smith are members of the MHS Class of 2013, and are on the Magnolia Panthers baseball team.
Richardson said the incident happened at the home of the victim on Lafayette County Road 41. He said there were other people present at the time of the accident, but only Smith and Ellis were injured.
Richardson said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been contacted, but the case is being investigated by the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office.
"I would not call it a 'closed case,' but we know what happened," Richardson said.
According to a press release from the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office, a call came in at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, requesting an ambulance at the Smith residence on Lafayette County 41 northwest of Buckner. When officers arrived, they found Smith and Ellis, both with severe injuries.
Both young men were transported to Magnolia Regional Medical Center, where Smith was pronounced dead. Ellis remains hospitalized at MRMC.
The release said, "This is a tragic accident caused by a homemade sparkler bomb."
Sparkler bombs are large batches of sparklers that are tightly wrapped together and lit with a fuse. According to urbandictionary.com, a sparkler bomb of 16 standard sparklers has the equivalent of one-fourth of a stick of dynamite.
One Buckner resident told Magnolia Reporter on Facebook that the Wednesday night explosion was heard throughout the community.
Justin is survived by his parents, Glenda Smith, who teaches mathematics at Magnolia High School and Mike Smith, the owner of Smith's Lawn Care.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Smith Funeral Home of Stamps.
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