Update: Dozens Injured While Celebrating Independence Day

By: WOWT 6 News Email
By: WOWT 6 News Email

Dozens of injuries were reported at each of the Omaha metro area hospitals over the weekend. One Omaha man, investigators said, lost his hand from an M1000.

Jared Spencer, 31, lost his right hand Friday night. He was a guest at a home near 156th and Blondo.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff, no one witnessed the explosion. One individual said he saw the aftermath -- a cloud of smoke and the victim on the ground.

When deputies arrived, Spencer was flat on his back with a rag on his arm where his hand used to be -- and a brown belt on his wrist as a tourniquet. He's listed in good condition at Nebraska Medical Center.

M1000's -- according to investigators -- are not legal in Nebraska.

Another serious injury was reported, by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Department, at a home on 220th Street, southeast of Council Bluffs.

Cole Mayer, 30, suffered a severe injury to his hand when a firework detonated that he was attempting to light.

Bystanders helped Mayer by placing tourniquets on his arm to stop the bleeding.

Mayer was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center by medical helicopter. He is currently listed in good condition.

In addition to Mayer, the Nebraska Medical Center had at least a dozen patients over the holiday weekend, most were treated for eye injuries and hand burns. Hospital officials said the main culprit was artillery shells.

A spokeswoman at Alegent Creighton Medical Center reports 19 fireworks-related injuries at their six metro hospitals. Of those injured, at least half were juveniles.

Another 13 people were injured and went to one of the three Methodist hospitals. Most of those injuries were to the victims' hands; however, there was one eye injury, a burn to the head, and an abdominal burn.

Children's Hospital and Medical Center reported four fireworks-related injuries; all were eye injuries. In each case, the patient was treated and released.


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