MAYVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Rita Jacobson will be among the holiday celebrants enjoying thefireworks in Mayville this Fourth of July.
She still helps plan the Chautauqua County event, even though afireworks accident five years ago almost claimed her life.
While checking the progress of pyrotechnics at the event in2005, a rocket exploded in its tube while still on the ground.
A piece of the tubing, one inch in diameter, tore into Rita'schest just missing her heart and lungs.
The plastic shrapnel was so hot that it cauterized her skinminimizing bleeding.
She was taken by Star Flight to Hamot Medical Center in Erie,Pennsylvania to close the gaping wound in her chest.
She underwent two more reconstructive surgeries and now has afive-inch scar.
Doctors told her the injury resembled a gun-shot wound.
Jacobson still plays a role in planning the Fourth of Julycelebration in Chautauqua County, but hopes her accident will serveas a warning to others that fireworks can be dangerous andunpredictable if something goes wrong.
You can see News 4 Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg's entirereport on News 4 at 5.
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