GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - An upstate man has died after an accident he was involved in while setting off fireworks, according to Greenville County Deputy Coroner Mike Ellis.
Ellis said Robin Rhodes Smith, 54, died on the way to the hospital Thursday night.
According to Ellis, the incident happened on Hilltop Drive at 9:18 p.m.
Ellis said Smith was using lock-and-load launcher which involves dropping a flaming ball packet into a tube.
He said Smith was having an issue getting the device to work so he took the flaming ball packet out of the tube, used a pocket knife to put holes in the packet and put a fuse from another firework in it.
Witnesses told Ellis that Smith put the flaming ball packet in upside down and it went off and hit him in the chest.
Ellis said the base of the launcher is supposed to be put on the ground but Smith was holding the launcher in his hand with the base in the direction of his chest.
Ellis said the official cause of death was penetrating blunt-force trauma to the chest. The death has been ruled accidental.