LEHI — Craig Miller calls himself a poor man, but vows that what little he has will go to the family of Bridger Hunt, an 11-year-old Orem boy whose body was punctured by shrapnel when Miller's homemade fireworks exploded July 24.

"I will not dodge my responsibilities," Miller told the Deseret News on Monday. "The way I'm looking at it, all I have is going to that boy. I will consider myself homeless, whatever it takes ... (because) I will never be able to live with myself unless I do everything in my power to make it right."

Miller, 45, of Lehi, sadly acknowledges he'll never be able to make full restitution for Hunt, who is in Primary Children's Medical Center awaiting surgery to see if his nearly severed left leg can be saved.

Hunt was riding bikes with a cousin Thursday night outside his grandfather's Lehi home when Miller's 4-inch diameter, 12-18 inch tall pipe exploded 30 feet away.

The black-powder blast sent shrapnel into Hunt's torso and left leg, severing his femoral artery and lacerating his femoral vein.

He was rushed via medical helicopter to the hospital and immediately taken into surgery.

Hunt will likely be in the hospital for several weeks, possibly months, with bills reaching up in the millions — a huge obstacle to his family who doesn't have insurance.

Miller urged everyone who can to donate to the Bridger Nathaniel Hunt fund, which has been set up through any branch of Zions Bank or Central Bank to help with medical expenses.

"Please, anybody who can donate to that family," Miller said. "If they will, it will come back to them 10 times over. Please, everybody do everything you can."

Miller acknowledges he doesn't have much, but will give what he can.

Hunt's family has said they understand the explosion was an accident and hold no animosity toward Miller. Instead, they're concerned about the negative comments being posted about him on media Web sites.

Miller, who said he's in intense emotional pain, said he also appreciated the professionalism and courtesy from the Lehi Police Department, which he's been working with for the past several days.

"They have just been everything you would expect and wish law enforcement to be," he said.

No official charges have yet been filed against Miller.


E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com