A Menlo Park pyrotechnics expert died Thursday of injuries he suffered when a load of fireworks he and his twin brother were transporting ignited inside their car as they drove on an Arizona highway in early February, authorities said.
The explosion happened on state Highway 95 in Lake Havasu City on Feb 12.
Randall Feldman, 59, known as Randy, suffered burns to 70 percent of his body and was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas, Nev., where he died Thursday, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.
Lake Havasu City police Sgt. Troy Stirling said the fireworks that Randy and his identical twin Michael were transporting ignited while they were driving.
Randy and Michael were in Lake Havasu to attend the annual Western Pyrotechnic Association’s Winter Blast, a five-day get-together for pyrotechnic enthusiasts, according to the association president Lynden King.
King said Randy was scheduled to give a presentation on building fireworks at the event, which ran from Feb. 12 to Feb. 16.
Stirling said the brothers were traveling on the highway heading away from the event that day when the fireworks in the trunk began igniting.
Randy was a passenger in the vehicle and his brother was driving at the time. Michael pulled over and Randy walked toward the car’s trunk to see what was causing the fireworks to go off, according to the sergeant.
He ended up being badly burned by the explosions, and was taken by ambulance to Havasu Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Stirling said.
Michael suffered only minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene, Stirling said.
Stirling said the cause of the ignition appears to have been a chemical reaction, but “since the product burned up there is no way to determine exactly what happened.”
King said Feldman had been handling fireworks for most his life and was an expert pyrotechnician. He said the association will continue to promote the safe use of fireworks by giving seminars throughout the year on how to build and properly use pyrotechnics.
An online obituary states that Feldman was also a husband and a father.