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The Fourth of July is a joyous celebration of the birth of the United States.  meant to be a joyous day – one that’s marked with barbecues, family gatherings, and in much of our nation, fireworks. More often than not, that’s exactly how it’s celebrated: Americans getting together without a care in the world. But occasionally, we see a case like that of Frank Lazcano Lopez, 46. Mr. Lopez was responsible for causing an explosion that inflicted major bodily harm to numerous people. How did this happen? He was launching illegal fireworks. Now, families have to work to put back the pieces as a result of his negligence.

Here’s what happened:

A Bad Idea

This year, just after 11 p.m. on July 4, police were alerted to reports of a large explosion in Santa Ana. It was a fireworks showcase gone horrifically wrong. And the worst part is that it was completely avoidable. After all, in California, any fireworks that explode, leave the ground or move erratically along the ground are illegal. While Mr. Lopez knew this, he proceeded to launch his own event anyway. It was a bad idea from the beginning. 

While the details are still being put together, the consensus is he not only attempted to use illegal fireworks, but also neglected to implement any safety measures. Sure enough, his tribute to the red, white, and blue ended in catastrophe. An explosion strong enough to set off car alarms and break windows went off shortly after he lit the fuse. Many bystanders were hurt as a result, including a pair of brothers, ages 4 and 8, who burned their corneas.  

What Happened Next

After the explosion, Mr. Lopez then threatened witnesses and asked them to delete the video implicating him of the crime. He is currently being charged with two felony counts of explosion causing mayhem and great bodily injury, one felony count of explosion of a destructive device causing bodily injury, and one felony count of dissuading a witness by force or threat. If found guilty on all counts, he faces up to life in prison. You read that correctly – life in prison for a completely preventable crime. 

As Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer puts it, “Every year, law enforcement and fire officials warn the public about the dangers of illegal fireworks – and every year people suffer injuries they should never have suffered if they had listened to our warnings. This time it is very young children who were forced to suffer the very real and very painful effects of illegal fireworks. And children should never have to suffer as a result of the irresponsible acts of an adult.” In what is sure to be a slam-dunk personal injury case, Mr. Lopez is currently being held on $1 million bail. 

Contact Gokal Law

Have you recently been injured due to fireworks or another preventable crime? You may be entitled to a case. Contact Alison Gokal of Gokal Law Group, Inc. Our team will diligently investigate your claims, interview witnesses, and give you the support you need to win your case. The sooner you contact us, the more effective we are at getting you the justice you deserve.

Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.

Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. Each has vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group.