South Carolina Man Dies After Putting Firework on His Head to 'Show Off,' Says His Wife

Authorities identified the victim as Allen Ray McGrew, 41

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of an exploded firework


Stock image of an exploded firework

A South Carolina man died on July 4 after he placed a firework on his head that later exploded as he was allegedly showing off, authorities said.

Per a news release and incident report obtained by PEOPLE from the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, authorities arrived at the 100 block of Cottonwood Drive in the Crestwood Subdivision in Summerville, South Carolina, on Thursday around 10:23 p.m. local time. They found the victim with injuries in a roadway.

According to witnesses, the injuries were caused by a fireworks accident, said the sheriff’s office.

The Dorchester County Coroner identified the victim as Allen Ray McGrew, 41, in a news release, adding that McGrew “ignited a large firework device and set it upon his head.”

“The device exploded while on top of his head causing massive head injuries,” continued the coroner’s statement. “Mr. McGrew was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:10pm by the coroner.”

In the incident report, which described what happened as an accidental death, Paige McGrew, the victim’s wife, told authorities that she and her husband were having a block party and that Allen began drinking around 6 p.m.

“Paige advised she observed Allen place a firework on his head, which she believes was done to show off. Paige advised she was trying to tell Allen not to do that when the firework went off and she observed Allen collapse,” the report states.

Related: Family of 11-Year-Old Boy Who Died in Fireworks Accident Will 'Never' Buy Them Again, Aunt Says

"He was holding this firework over his top hat,” Paige told The Post and Courier newspaper about her husband, who wore an Uncle Sam costume. “I thought he was just showboating before he set it on the ground. I didn’t realize he had already lit it.”

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Paige also told The Post and Courier that her husband, who would’ve turned 42 in less than a month, loved celebrating Independence Day. An HVAC worker, Allen was also a father to a son who is engaged to be married. 

"He was a patriot; he was proud of his son and he was excited to have a new daughter-in-law,” Paige said of her husband. “He was living his best life last night."

She also told the newspaper Allen was not a drinker and that he did not regularly drink.

Related: Florida Man Initially Thought to Have Been Fatally Shot May Have Died from Fireworks Accident: Police

The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating the incident.

PEOPLE contacted Paige McGrew for additional information.

According to USA Today, as of Friday, July 5, there have been a total of four fireworks-related fatalities, including Allen, in parts of the country extending from this July 4 holiday. 

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