Concord man blows off fingers during accident with illegal fireworks

July 4, 2011 23:51 pm · 77 comments

A 37-year-old Concord man suffered major injuries to his hands after an accident with illegal fireworks, according to Concord Police Lt. David Hughes.

Lt. Hughes says the incident happened just before 8pm on July 4th, in the 2500 block of East Olivera Road.

Although it wasn’t confirmed by the Concord Police Department, we heard he blew off at least three of his fingers, including his thumb.

1 Phoenyx July 4, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Wow… I feel bad for the guy losing his fingers, but when you play with fire…

2 Max July 4, 2011 at 11:54 PM

and this is why i just watch from the end of the driveway and let the neighbors do all the work

3 Pidge July 4, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Bwahahahaha. That’s what you get!!!

4 Garcia July 5, 2011 at 12:03 AM

I’m sure they can reattach them… if they can find ‘em!

5 Radar July 5, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Geeze thats crazy. I remember a guy about 40 years ago who was playing with fireworks blew off his left hand, both legs and did other damage. Blew away a promising football career. Anyone remember Dale Eidson?

6 Duh July 5, 2011 at 12:10 AM

A message for all of you who still have 10 fingers. Get a damn clue!

7 WHAT A July 5, 2011 at 12:16 AM


8 Anon July 5, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Radar, I remember Dale doing some kind of an assembly for my class at Valley View Middle School in the early 90’s.

9 Radar July 5, 2011 at 12:28 AM

@Anon 8 yeah? Whats he doing now you know?

10 Anon July 5, 2011 at 12:32 AM

If the government spent more time making sure idiots like this were educated, they’d have to spend less money on enforcing a ban that even most cops don’t care about.
Like people are gonna set them off anyway, why not make it so they at least know how to do it safely.?

11 Vandy July 5, 2011 at 12:37 AM

This is a close family friend this happened to. I was there when it happened. It was very scary to see this happen to a good friend. Yes it was a stupid thing to do but our friend is a very loving kind and good man with a family. We are just thankful he is ok. There is a lesson to be learned. But shit talking we can do without.

12 Conrad July 5, 2011 at 1:11 AM

Oh.. is that why they’re illegal…?

13 Sinn Feiner July 5, 2011 at 1:20 AM

Damn that really sucks but at 37 yrs. old you should be smart enough to know the consequences of messing with dangerous fireworks.

14 mother of poo July 5, 2011 at 1:21 AM

It does’nt matter how many years or generations go by, how many stories are printed, how many laws are made.. there will always be the dumbass that does it anyway.
Natural selection at work.
It just would’nt be the same without at least one idiot blowing off his fingers. How else are we going to tell our children the scary stories about “the guy that blew his fingers off”.
Happy Independance Day.

15 anon but regular here July 5, 2011 at 2:32 AM

And so I made a comment a couple days ago about fireworks, and well, if yer dumb, yer dumb. Ya loose a couple or more fingers. Why shouldn’t the rest of us have fun just because of your stupid ass?

My daughter and I drove through The City, and later through parts of Oakland, the night of the fourth, and the amount of illegals was positively exhilarating. One went off behind us sounding not too far off from a pipe bomb. And yes, I have heard those. I went to boarding school. Had idiot friends who made them and subsequently got caught. Didn’t know when to quit.

Moral: Don’t be stupid.

16 Skyscraper July 5, 2011 at 3:08 AM

Radar, is this the Dale Eidson of which you speak?

17 JacoP July 5, 2011 at 4:58 AM

What is the typical firework that does this level of damage?
Whatever happened to good old fashioned bottle rockets, roman candles, lady fingers, etc. These were fun but lacked the power to inflict the aforementioned injury.

18 Montgomery July 5, 2011 at 5:16 AM

That is positively awful… So sorry for him and his family. Sure he shouldn’t have had illegal fireworks. But sad all the same. And accidents happen even with legal fireworks.. . Hope he is ok…

19 WHAT A July 5, 2011 at 5:23 AM

“He might have read this before starting”


20 DoubleTap July 5, 2011 at 6:23 AM

Play stupid games, Win stupid prizes!

21 Anon777 July 5, 2011 at 6:44 AM


22 JJ. July 5, 2011 at 7:22 AM

I definitely wouldn’t be saying this 20 years ago when i was younger, but we live and learn….right? It truly amazes me how our society allows the use of this stuff. Of course it’s illegal. But there’s really no enforcement of these explosives that can clearly be dangerous. Some of the explosions that were happening in my neighborhood rocked my house and are scary to kids and pets. I can see little firecrackers…but some of the large explosives that are being used are simply crazy, and dangerous. Not sure what we can do about it, as the resources are scarce, but it just seems over the top when we consider the amount of large explosives being used and the environment that we’ve all lived in since 9-11. Crazy.

23 Beacon July 5, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Be nice people. Not one of you hasn’t done something risky in your life and got away with it. It’s human nature. ” Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

24 anon July 5, 2011 at 7:37 AM

I’m just glad it wasn’t a kid. I feel sorry for the guy, but it’s not like we all don’t know that illegal fireworks are dangerous. I hope he recovers quickly and doesn’t lose his livelihood.

25 Dangerous July 5, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Of course I remember Dale and his brother Terry Edison, they grew up in the Estates subdivision.

26 Nelson Muntz July 5, 2011 at 7:59 AM

Ha ha!

27 IDIOT HATER July 5, 2011 at 8:02 AM

All Fireworks are illegal in Contra Costa County. But I am sure it doesn’t apply to this individual, because “Stupid is, as Stupid does”.

28 polarbear July 5, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Fireworks have always been part of the 4th of the July along with barbeques,and baseball. If handled properly, professional fireworks,small firecrackers,fountains are a delight to see and hear. Its the douchebags that set off M80s that spoils the fun

29 still anon July 5, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Radar, I remember that Dale was in the insurance business back in the late 60’s or early 70’s. I remember him coming to our house and discussing insurance plans with my folks and then he spoke with the four of us children about his accident.

30 Shak Li Batahat July 5, 2011 at 8:06 AM

@Anon July 5, 2011 at 12:32 AM
If the government spent more time making sure idiots like this were educated

People will be people no matter what level of education, warning labels or TV ads. For instance, people still use drugs, drink too much, drive while impaired and talking on the cell, walk in front of trains and all sorts of things that put themselves in danger.

Some people will learn a lesson from this accident, some will not. Government cannot legislate this sort of behavior no matter how hard it may try.

31 Connie Dobbs July 5, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Now it’s a party.

32 do you read? July 5, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Yeah, after blowing off his legs and hand at age 20, he became a well respected baseball umpire and drummer….. Duh. Read for comprehension much?

33 drum ump July 5, 2011 at 8:22 AM


that dale played the drums and was an umpire. kinda hard to show a full count if you don’t have a full count of fingers. (not to mention hold a drum stick)

34 Ernie July 5, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Yep! I remember Dale’s accident (?), back about 40-years ago, Radar. How can anyone forget something like that. He had a promising career with the 49ers, I believe it was. Just down from Hillcrest Elementary; and, I believe this incident was in the same neighborhood, if my memory is correct. Wow! Sad that folks don’t understand that these things can be powerful.

35 crazytech58 July 5, 2011 at 9:25 AM

I hear Wendy’s is having a special on chili…..

36 B-rye July 5, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Give the man a hand people!!!

37 That's what he gets July 5, 2011 at 9:54 AM

That’s why they are ILLEGAL! And parents, don’t let your kids play with these things!

38 ALLEN July 5, 2011 at 10:07 AM

That’s awesome. lol!

39 akajackson July 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM

LOL LOL LOL LOL Dumb-A$$ lol lol lol lol Thats awesome

40 Tree Farm July 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Folks, fireworks are illegal because of the FIRE DANGER. Who cares if you hurt yourself? Not being callous, there but by the grace of God go I. But people hurt themselves all the time. The laws are so you don’t set your neighbors house on fire, or the giant grass field behind your house.

41 Harsh July 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM

this man blew off three fingers and some of you find this funny? really??? sick individuals. Im sure none of you have ever done anything stupid. Would you laugh at somebody who was speeding down the freeway and crashed and lost a leg or an arm? Seriously, some of should be ashamed. The man did something he shouldnt have been doing. Fine. But ALL OF US have done something stupid at one point. To laugh and cause this man stupid…wow. Heartless.

42 Kanman July 5, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Idiot, I hope he doesn’t go on disability now ans burden the tax payers.

43 Vicky July 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

About this accident …Thats what it was an Accident, Yes it was a sad sad mistake and poor Judgement on his part, But that aside we all have played with this stuff young and old, instead of making smart ass remarks learn from it people ! He is a wonderful man ,he was so sorry that this happened and was glad no one else got hurt! I was hit by a lady 2 yrs ago she just pulled out in front of me and totaled my car I was not mad at her it was a stupid mistake ! We all love this guy so if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything !

44 Carolyn Hernandez July 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Easy for all of the ignorant people to talk s*^t. This is a serious matter and could happen to any one of you idiots talking your smack. Tell me that any of you fools have never bought “illegal” fireworks. This man and his family do not need the stupid remarks.

45 Mad Mom July 5, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I wish that more people cared about what could happen. Last night the Holbrook neighborhood sounded like a war zone. Someone was blowing off something that sounded like a huge bomb! He let if go about every 20 minutes. You’d just start to think that it was done when KABOOM!!!! The last blast went off just before 2am. We have a few very cranky neighbors this morning and several traumatized animals and small children. UGH!

46 Mikey and Skyler July 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Harsh knows what he is talking about

47 Anonymous July 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM

A tragedy to the man and the family, and some of you are so smug as to preach ‘the law’ and laugh? Way to kick a man when he’s down. Oh yeah, some of you probably lit off fireworks ‘illegally’ last night, but since you were lucky, and didn’t kill yourselves, you’re here to gloat. Not nice.
I, for one, find no humor in a tragic situation. I will not tempt misfortune by finding amusement in another’s bad luck. Even if I could do it ‘anonymously.’
Prayers for the man and his family, who now have to deal with a horrible situation.

48 @vicky July 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Seriously? The defintion of an accident is the following: An accident is a specific, unpredictable, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.

Fireworks are illegal for a reason. If your friend doesn’t get why, I’m sure he does now. Sad that he had to learn his lesson the hard way. Fire works are ILLEGAL in Contra Costa County so he obviously had to purchase them somewhere else. I’m sure he knew it was illegal to begin with and the chances he was taking when he decided to purchase the fireworks.

Oh and as far as your accident goes, not even a good comparison. We have car insurance for a reason because accident’s happen. It is not illegal to drive a car, it sucks someone hit you, but we all take that chance everytime we get into our car.

Bottom line, it sucks and everyday he will be reminded of his poor choices and lack of common sense. Maybe next year he’ll go somewhere to watch the fireworks like the rest of us!


49 Living in Claycord July 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

As the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid!

50 hahahahha July 5, 2011 at 12:40 PM

sounds like the mexican flag was flying over him. hahahaa

51 LIving in CLaycord July 5, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Just received this link to the Fireworks Song from a friend – speaks to our topic –

52 Anonymous July 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I’m with you Anonymous #47. I don’t think it’s funny at all. We have all done stupid things at some point in our life. We have all made mistakes. It makes me sad to know I live in a community of people who laugh at others, and judge others so harshly.

53 @Carolyn Hernandez July 5, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Hand to God, I have never ever ever ever purchased OR handled illegal fireworks of any kind. None. Not once. I wouldn’t even know how find any explosives, legal or not, if I wanted to. Because I’m afraid of starting a fire or…what’s the other one? Oh yeah – blowing my fingers off my hand!

He earned it. It totally sucks but he earned it. He’s 4 years older than me, how is it that I’m more of an adult? Well…he is a man…

54 Elemope July 5, 2011 at 1:23 PM

There is nothing funny about blowing ones fingers off. I will say this, it is a natural response to make fun of someone that is injured (not gravely) doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. There is still good that can come from this. If this person has any sense, once he is recovered he will use his experience to teach others about the dangers of setting off illegal fireworks and hopefully save a limb or even a life.

55 JustMe July 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM

This seems to happen every 4th of July, and it amazes me you can still buy fireworks. I’m amazed at the so called legal stuff they sell at the local Luckys and Safeway. Shouldn’t be available at all if you ask me.

56 anonymous July 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

wow.. people can be so cruel. I wish him a painless recovery and hope he heals soon. Give the poor guy a break. We all do things that we shouldn’t sometimes. Stop judging and definately stop laughing. It is NOT funny.

57 Living in Claycord July 5, 2011 at 3:00 PM

All comedy is based on tragedy. We laugh at tragedy because we understand that if it were not for (choose one) education, money, morals, upbringing or just plain luck – we too would be in the place of the person or situation we are laughing at or laughing along with. And sometimes we laugh because we identify with the situation.

Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why you are laughing the next time time you laugh at a comedy routine or TV show.

58 Vicky July 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM

@Vicky Thanks for your informative Info But regardless of what you call it it was a accident ,do you really think he ever intended for that to Happen? So in my eyes it is just that, But besides all that call it what you want, But for you people here on claycord .com Laughing and saying he deserves it makes me sick to even think that there are people out there like this ! Again if you have nothing nice to say SAY NOTHING !!!!!!

59 Vicky July 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Anonymous very well said Thank you !

60 Radar July 5, 2011 at 3:47 PM

@Skyscraper thanks possibley. I think they would have mentioned the accidednt if it was him.

61 Ksc July 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

You tell em Vicky !

62 basel July 5, 2011 at 4:16 PM

As he lit the M80, he asked himself, “well, s**ker, do you feel lucky?”

63 Casey July 5, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Idiot period, this is not the first time he has bought and lit illegal fireworks….what would he have done if it burned down a neighbors house, or hurt someone else? Good think he didn’t. I am tired of these people making excuses for these people. Finally an idiot pays for his stupid mistake, I am tires of others paying for them.

64 Fireworks July 5, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Some people are just straight up stupid, I’m 16 and I even know how to light fireworks safely. I managed to light mortars and m1000s without blowing my fingers off or damaging anything.

65 youfigureitout July 5, 2011 at 5:21 PM

to Casey,
what have you had to pay for? anymore than the rest of us and what do you know about this person as far as doing this before?I’m not saying it was right but you idiots need to get off the back of tragedys of other people!! Again he is sorry that this happen and he should not of done this. things happen people make mistakes ,move on ! yes Thank God he wasn’t hurt worse or hurt someone else time to learn from this and move on ~

66 anon July 5, 2011 at 5:21 PM

You phukkers are cruel. I think the guy learned plenty from this for the rest of His life. But the armchair quarterback TV watchers that never do anything wrong, even though all of you consider Bingo a sport, always have to get their anonymous jabs in. Driving around with your NOTW stickers on your cars.
You’re the same Phukkers that were criticizing the Woman in Martinez for running over her child, and You’ll be the same Phukkers that will cheer on a suicidal person to jump, while you’re too coward to lift a hand to help.

I would rather have an illegal Mexican or a Turban wearing Muslim with a heart as a friend and neighbor than some of you cold callous bastards. You’ve lost your humanity.

PS – ‘Phukkers’ was picked just for you, because that is probably the only speech you use at home when talking to your children. For those that are offended by it, I suppose you do not own a TV or attend any movies.

67 Skyscraper July 5, 2011 at 5:23 PM

@Radar: #25 refers to Dale and his brother Terry. The obit’ mentions a brother named Terry. #32 and #33 both mention that Dale became a baseball umpire. The obit’ mentions this, as well. This kind of makes me think we are speaking of the same Dale Eidson. Dale Eadson’s widow is an old high school friend of mine, but I never met Dale. So maybe I could ask her. Maybe someone else knows better with more certainty.

68 Atticus Thraxx July 5, 2011 at 6:32 PM

You’d think by 37 years old…oh nevermind, like I give a s**t.

69 anonagain July 5, 2011 at 6:50 PM

After reading the many comments here today, I can say that there are many here who are heartless, callous and cold individuals. While I don’t condone someone buying illegal fireworks, I still think it is wrong to judge this man without knowing the rest of the story. If you were in the same situation and your tragedy was posted here, you wouldn’t want the heartless ridicule either. Claycord proves that there are many lowlifes that are amongst us………

70 Deal with it July 5, 2011 at 7:50 PM

” I still think it is wrong to judge this man without knowing the rest of the story”

OK..he posessed illegal fireworks..he lit them..they went off..he got a BIG oweee..what else do I need to know about this story..GOD you are dense

71 Atticus Thraxx July 5, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Unless the story started with “he took it out of the hands of a child right before it exploded” then there really isn’t much you can say in his defense. Stupid is, as stupid does. And at 37, there really is no excuse.

72 Roy July 5, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Sorry, but if I blew off my fingers doing something assanine I would fully expect people to laugh at me. If you don’t listen to the warnings that have been put out for YEARS and see the stories and learn the lessons of others who have blown things off or set fires and go ahead and do the same then people are allowed to laugh. It’s bad enough that people can’t take into account the danger they are putting others into, So yes we can be thankful he didn’t burn someone’s house down, injure their child or some other child’s parent. I’m thinking his family won’t continue the tradition of illegal fireworks and maybe their story can keep other people out there from doing the same.

73 Cowellian July 5, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Well, he certainly gave us an example of what can happen, but there are enough slow learners around here to ensure we’ll be reading a similar story in the not-too-distant future.

74 Concernicus July 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

i have to admit… i laughed. its not a nice thing to do, but hell, even my 5 year old cousin couldve told him not to play with fireworks. or any form of explosive device.

and does it really need to be said that its STILL a stupid thing to do, even if nobody is injured by it?

75 Sassy July 6, 2011 at 5:06 AM

Unfortunately, this man has a long road to recovery ahead of him. I had a good friend lose the tip of three fingers in a lawn mower accident. He was on heavy pain meds for a year because of the nerve damage. He couldn’t work for 6 months and had to deal with a lot of physical therapy to get his fingers working properly again. Five years later and he still deals with pain, numbness, discomfort. This situation sounds far more serious and my prayers go out for this father.

76 LorieStories July 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM

He’s lucky. A man in North Dakota blew off his head.

77 Funny Man July 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Truly LOL-worthy!

#76 the story doesn’t say if they found his head? i’m assuming it was ripped off at launch, I wonder if it was found nearby or exploded with the rocket.
Talk ’bout going out with a bang!

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