A Detroit area meteorologist was severely injured after a Fourth of July fireworks accident caused damage to the left eye of the popular WXYZ-TV Channel 7 meteorologist. Dave Rexroth, the station’s chief weatherman, will undergo surgery this week to have a prosthetic eye implanted.
The Associated Press reported via ABC News that Rexroth “lost sight in his left eye during a fireworks mishap Friday night that occurred while he was vacationing with his family in Iowa City.”
Rexroth is currently hospitalized in Iowa City. His station issued a statement of support to Rexroth and his family.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and his family and they have our full support during this difficult time. As Dave recovers, we’ll provide updates on his progress – and we look forward to his return to Action News,” said WXYZ vice president and general manager Ed Fernandez.
According to Freep.com, the 48-year-old Rexroth “was named chief meteorologist in August 2010 and gives forecasts and updates on the evening and night-time newscasts. He’s been with the station since 2000 and lives in Oakland County with his wife Deborah and their three sons.”
The National Fire Protection Agency said that in 2011, close to 18,000 fires were started from fireworks, causing 40 subsequent injuries and eight deaths. In 2012, “hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55 percent of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31 percent were to the head,” the site says.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 240 people “on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday,” and advocates for individuals to not use civilian fireworks but rather to enjoy controlled displays put on by local towns or cities.
It was unclear whether Rexroth was watching a local display or if he was at a social gathering with fireworks.