A Lincolnton man’s homemade cannon exploded in his face during a New Year’s celebration, sending him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
Timothy Crouse Hester was with family and friends around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday when the black-powdered device went off, hurling the 41-year-old against a house porch “in a cloud of smoke,” an agency press release said.
Hester shot the cannon multiple times prior to the incident, witnesses told deputies.
Many of the individuals present heard the incident but didn’t see the explosion since they were inside the Keener Road home at the time, deputies said.
One witness told officers she spotted Hester land against the house door during the explosion.
Firefighters with Boger City Volunteer Fire Department and paramedics with Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene.
Hester was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln with head injuries and second-degree facial burns, deputies said.
A helicopter flew him from the local hospital to Wake Forest Baptist’s Burn Center in Winston-Salem, according to the release.
The victim also suffered cornea damage in one eye, deputies said.
Hester is supposed to be released from the medical facility today.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the incident and has seized the cannon as case evidence.