Tulalip firework explosion mangled Arlington man’s leg

He and his family were at Boom City for just 10 minutes. He may never walk normally again.

Ryan Maughan lost a chunk of muscle from his thigh after being hit by fireworks on July 4. (GoFundMe)

Ryan Maughan lost a chunk of muscle from his thigh after being hit by fireworks on July 4. (GoFundMe)

TULALIP — After a firework blew a hole in his leg on the 4th of July, Ryan Maughan may never walk normally again.

Maughan, 41, had gone to Boom City Fireworks in Tulalip with his family to watch the night sky light up with explosions.

They didn’t stay long. They were new to the area, having just moved from Wisconsin to a cabin in Arlington. And what they thought was going to be a typical display seemed more like a free-for-all; people had gathered in a field to set off fireworks they just bought, some of which would be illegal if taken off the reservation.

Crowds come out in droves for the annual event, but Maughan called it a “war zone.”

After about 10 minutes, they turned to leave. There was a bright flash. A mortar reportedly lodged into Maughan’s leg and blew up. He looked at his fiancé. “Oh baby, I’m hit,” he recalled saying. He took two steps, fell to the ground and passed out.

He was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where he underwent multiple surgeries. After he was released, he noticed his wound getting infected.

“I really worried I was going to lose my leg,” he said.

He was admitted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he stayed for about a week. There, doctors performed more procedures — cleaning out more debris, cutting out dead tissue and grafting skin.

Maughan, who arrived home Thursday, gets around with a walker. He has difficulty moving his right leg. He said he lost a chunk of muscle from his thigh, and that his leg likely will never be fully functional again.

His voice broke as he imagined his future.

Maughan said if Boom City continues to host the annual event, that he hopes the organizers will be more proactive in implementing safety measures.

“I loved fireworks up until this point,” he said. “Our plans were to go watch the show, go into the casino, have a drink, have some dinner, gamble a little bit — and in 10 minutes my life was changed.”

Maughan is working with Everett attorneys to explore the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit, alleging that involved parties had neglected basic safety measures. It is not clear who a lawsuit would be filed against.

“This kind of thing doesn’t happen when people are acting reasonably careful,” his attorney, Brian Sullivan, said.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mariner High School. (Mariner High School)
Police: Teen arrested for threats against 3 Mukilteo schools

After a social media post, the 14-year-old is being investigated for allegedly threatening to shoot and bomb.

Previous Smith Ave campers have relocated to across the  'no-sit, no-lie' ordinance boundary and set up on Hewitt at the US 2 entrance in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Snohomish County proposes 0.1% sales tax for affordable housing

The tax could be approved without a public vote. It would allow for a dramatic increase in new housing for low-income people.

A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend Alisha Garvin as they and other families gather to remember the victims on the third anniversary of the Oso mudslide on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Oso, Wa. Huestis' sister, Christina Jefferds, and her baby granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Funding secured: Mudslide memorial will be a place to remember

Since 2014, families have mourned at a roadside shrine near Oso, but “we knew we needed something bigger.”

With omicron likely to appear here, officials urge boosters

Washington’s state epidemiologist said it could be weeks before we know more about the new coronavirus variant.

A traveler points to Bedal Campground on a map posted along the Mountain Loop Highway in June. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Mountain Loop Highway to close for the winter

The 14-mile stretch of gravel road will shut down starting Friday. Snow has hit higher elevations.

Everett man hospitalized after crashing into wall off I-5

He reportedly drove onto a bus-only ramp near the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and hit a cement wall.

A banner outside the door of Goodies in Mountlake Terrace says, “$795,000 Hit 5 ticket sold here.” (Andrea Brown / The Herald) 20211201
Who has the $795,000 Hit 5 ticket sold in Mountlake Terrace?

The winner has until Dec. 8 to claim the prize from a lottery ticket sold June 11 at Goodies Food.

Voyager Middle School.
Shooting threat at Mukilteo schools was a joke, student says

Four threats of violence in 48 hours were reported at Snohomish County schools in the wake of a shooting at a Michigan high school.

Bradley Woolard (U.S. Attorney's Office)
Arlington-area man who led fentanyl ring gets 20 years

When Bradley Woolard’s home was raided in 2018, authorities found more than 12,000 fentanyl pills.

Most Read