11-Year-Old Boy Dies Protecting Baby Sister From ‘Malfunctioned’ Fireworks: ‘Tragic Freak Accident’

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Another Fourth of July, another senseless death due to fireworks.

Over the holiday weekend, an 11-year-old boy died of his injuries from playing with fireworks that “malfunctioned” — but the incident could have been even more tragic, according to the boy’s mother.

In a news release, the Indiana State Police revealed that Camrynn Ray McMichael, of Mount Vernon, was “seriously injured” Sunday night during a fireworks incident on N. Canal Street in his hometown. Although an official cause of death has not been revealed, the statement noted the boy succumbed to his injuries while being transported to an Evansville hospital.

Camrynn’s mother, Kyrra McMichael, mourned the loss of her son in a social media message to the Evansville Courier & Press, claiming the boy was protecting his younger sister, Karmynn Louise McMichael, “like a big brother should!”

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In a GoFundMe campaign for Camrynn’s family, the incident was said to have occurred when a set of fireworks “malfunctioned.” While speaking with with WXIN, Kyrra called Sunday’s incident “a tragic freak accident,” telling the news station:

“Fireworks are no joke, and when you think it won’t be yours, in the blink of an eye it is.”

In her note to the Courier & Press, the grieving momma said her son was a sweet kid who dreamed of playing professional sports one day. She shared:

“He was an all-around, American boy… [he was] trying to get himself a scholarship to go to college and be in the NFL or NBA… He’s every parent’s dream of a boy … And because boys are boys, they play with fireworks [and] he is gone. In the blink of an eye. Literally.”


Rhett Snodgrass, an assistant manager at Mount Vernon’s Brittlebank Pool who knew Camrynn and his mother, told local station WEHT the young athlete was also wise beyond his years. He explained:

“When you talked to him, you wouldn’t think he was 10, 11 years old, but that’s how old he was. He had a really, really smart mind to him. And really polite, he had really great manners, and he was just great to be around.”

Rhett said Camrynn was “one of the better kids at the community center” and that “a lot of the younger kids looked up to him,” adding:

“He would have applied himself to anything. He could have done anything he wanted, he was a great kid.”

An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted on Tuesday, and the incident remains under investigation by the Indiana State Police, Mt. Vernon Police Department, and the Posey County Coroner.

Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones.

[Image via GoFundMe]

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