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Four burned after fireworks explode in car

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Via the Wyoming News Exchange

POWELL (WNE) — Two young men and two teens suffered severe burns on the Fourth of July after fireworks exploded inside their car.

Dylan McEwan, 25, of Powell, Riley Birky, 23, of Byron, Birky’s 16-year-old brother Tucker Schulenberg of Byron, and Powell High School student Landon Smallwood, 18, all remained in Denver area hospitals on Monday.

The group of four was driving near Cowley on U.S. Highway 310 with roughly 30 mortars when the explosives suddenly detonated, McEwan said.

An official cause has yet to be determined, with the Wyoming Highway Patrol declining to provide any information on Monday.

For his part, McEwan said he is not sure what caused the fireworks to ignite.

“Everything just went black,” he recalled. “Everywhere you looked you got burnt, everywhere you tried to touch you were getting burnt.”

McEwan said he was surprised Birky, the driver, was able to pull over and is thankful they didn’t get in a crash.

He said Birky made it out of the car first and helped out Smallwood; McEwan struggled through the smoke, then went back to help Schulenberg, who suffered severe burns up to his knees. McEwan carried Schulenberg out of the vehicle to Birky’s fiancee, Sierah Martin, who was driving behind them.

Given the extent of their wounds, all four occupants wound up being flown to Denver for treatment.

A GoFundMe campaign for all four boys is online at gofund. me/2f1e020f. Donations are also being accepted at any Big Horn Federal under the name TRLD Fundraiser.  Updates on Birky, Schulenberg, Smallwood and McEwan can be found on the Facebook page “Tucker, Riley, Landon, and Dylan Fundraiser.”

“We’re all thankful to be alive, and we’re all thankful for how much support that the community has shown us,” McEwan said Monday.

This story was published on July 9, 2024.

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