Young Father, 22, Dies After Fireworks in His Car Explode Following Crash

Brittany Roberts, the driver’s cousin, identified the victim to a local news outlet as 22-year-old Robert “B.J.” Jones

<p>Getty</p> Fireworks in the sky


Fireworks in the sky

A young father in Minnesota has died after fireworks exploded inside his car following a crash.

The St. Paul Police Department said the fatal accident occurred near Wilson Avenue and Howard Street around 9 p.m. local time on Saturday, July 6, according to CBS affiliate WCCO-TV and NBC affiliate KARE-TV.

The driver involved in the single-car crash reportedly left the roadway and hit both a tree and light pole, per the Bradenton Herald. Fireworks inside the vehicle ignited and then began to explode, causing the car to go up in flames moments later.

Per the police, the driver, who was identified by his cousin, Brittany Roberts, as Robert "B.J." Jones, was the only one in the car and did not survive the accident, WCCO reported. “He's a great person. That's the best way to sum it up. So lively, so full of love, and laughter,” she told the outlet of the young father, who was 22 years old.

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Other individuals were unable to approach the vehicle due to the explosions, according to the Herald.

St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster told WCCO approaching the fireworks could have caused someone to get injured. "In this case, it caused everybody to stay away from the vehicle, and they weren't able to help the driver in time," he explained.

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Baba Tamba, who lives in an apartment near the crash site, said he and a neighbor rushed to the scene in hopes of helping the victim after hearing it from their homes. "I went and grabbed the fire extinguisher, and he was using the pole right there to bust the glass and the glass wouldn't bust because it was engulfed in flames," he recalled to WCCO.

The St. Paul Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Not being able to save the victim has been “really hard” for Tamba, according to the outlet. “I'm still dealing with stuff from the military,” he explained, “and not being able to save this fellow really made me feel bad last night.”

An investigation into the crash is ongoing. Authorities believe speed may have been a factor in the crash, per the reports.

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