Published On: Thu, Jul 7th, 2016

Texas teen Rowdy Radford loses left leg, sight after his ‘sparkler bomb’ explodes

A Texas teen has lost fingers, his left leg below the knee and might lose his sight after a Fourth of July weekend fireworks accident. His family says he makes these types of “booms” regularly.

Rowdy Radford 15, bought $40 worth of sparklers (at least 100 of them), then bound them all together using electrical tape. His mother detailed the incident with the press, describing this “sparkler bomb,” adding that Rowdy used one sparkler as a fuse to light the rest in one massive boom. This time, something went wrong and the teen was too close to the explosion.

Rowdy Radford

Rowdy Radford

Radford remains in the intensive care unit at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital under sedation, recovering from his injuries.

“Then I hear people screaming, saying, ‘Your son got hurt,’ Smith said, “Then after that, I don’t remember. I blacked out.”

“Rowdy has always been known for making his booms and he makes his booms by scaring everybody,” said his aunt Samantha Hansen.

“They do it every year,” said his mom Wendy Smith. “But we didn’t know this was going to be a big one.”

“As soon as Rowdy went down to light it, it exploded. He didn’t even have a chance to run,” Hansen said.

According to witnesses, the blast left a 4-foot hole in the ground. A search for “sparkler bomb” on YouTube returns dozens of results that match Smith’s description of what her son made.

“Hopefully he’ll get his eyesight back because they couldn’t get in there and clean them,” Smith said, “He has wires, sparkler wires in his eyes.”


On a GoFundMe page created to help cover the teen’s medical expenses, a family friend says Radford has a 50 percent chance of losing his vision, has had his fingers reattached and will require further surgeries on his arms.


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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