Travelers Rest Man Dies After July 4th Fireworks Explosion - WSPA.com

Travelers Rest Man Dies After July 4th Fireworks Explosion

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The Greenville County Coroner's Office says Robin Rhodes Smith, 54, died on the way to a hospital around 9:45 p.m. Thursday after the incident at a home on Hilltop Drive. The Greenville County Coroner's Office says Robin Rhodes Smith, 54, died on the way to a hospital around 9:45 p.m. Thursday after the incident at a home on Hilltop Drive.
A Travelers Rest man died after a firework exploded while he was altering it in his hands on the 4th of July. The Greenville County Coroner's Office says Robin Rhodes Smith died on the way to a hospital. A Travelers Rest man died after a firework exploded while he was altering it in his hands on the 4th of July. The Greenville County Coroner's Office says Robin Rhodes Smith died on the way to a hospital.
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. -

A Travelers Rest man died after a firework exploded while he was altering it in his hands on the 4th of July.

The Greenville County Coroner's Office says Robin Rhodes Smith, 54, died on the way to a hospital around 9:45 p.m. Thursday after the incident at a home on Hilltop Drive.

Witnesses tell the deputy coroner that Smith was shooting off fireworks in his yard. 

One of the fireworks - a mortar round type with a four-inch round opening at the top that launches from the ground shooting off fireballs - didn't ignite.

The investigator says witnesses told him Smith took the firework out of the ground and used a pocket knife to install a fuse - from another firework - into the one that failed. 

Those witnesses say Smith was sitting in the chair with the firework and lit it with the launching tube against his chest.

The mortar round went off into the victim's chest.

Smith was in cardiac arrest when emergency crews arrived at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

Greenville County Deputy Coroner Mike Ellis says a witness indicated it's possible Smith reloaded the mortar round upside down. Ellis says there are arrows on the firework that show how it is supposed to be fired.
 
Art Smith, Robin's brother spoke with 7 On Your Side. "It's tough," he said. "I feel really sad right now."

Art says the family wants to get out the message to be safe and use fireworks the right way.

"I do think people ought to be careful with fireworks," he explained. "People need to be a lot more careful than they are."

A lesson learned too late - for his loved one. "I love him very much," he said. "I'll miss him."

 

 

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