SALT LAKE CITY — Tim Strand and his wife were among four people who were injured Friday night at a fireworks show for the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games in Cedar City.
One of the "louder ones," he said, didn't head to the sky and instead hit his wife, Charise, in the chest and then exploded right in front of them.
"When it exploded, it was probably two feet away from my head," Strand said. That was after he saw it ricochet off his wife's chest. The two of them were injured in a split second.
It was about 10:30 p.m., during the opening ceremonies at an arena outside the Southern Utah University Eccles Coliseum. The Strands, of Cedar City, had waited out a rainstorm to see the fireworks, an event they have attended for almost a decade. They were seated with hundreds of others just outside the fenced arena.
Medical staff on scene treated all four people who were injured, officials at SUU said. Three were driven in personal cars to Cedar City Hospital.
Tim Strand said he needed stitches near his ear, and he has temporarily lost some hearing. He also received minor burns from the explosion. Charise Strand, however, "was hurting pretty bad," he said.
"We're still trying to take it all in," Tim Strand said. "It's kind of hard to believe when it happens to you. It seemed like something you see in a movie."
The Strands were contacted by someone from the university who told them the incident is under investigation, he said, but they don't know much more than that about how it happened.2 comments on this story
"It could've been worse," Tim Strand said. "I think if it would've exploded on us instead of two feet away … it would've been much worse."
The couple doesn't have hard feelings, as Tim Strand said he knows fireworks can't always be controlled. Nevertheless, they're going to sit a lot further back if they ever go to another fireworks show in the future.
"I'm pretty sure I'll never watch fireworks within anywhere in a long ways from them, because it was pretty scary," he said.