12/20/2014

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Lewis Co. woman hit by firework that exploded in her jacket

Lewis Co. woman hit by firework that exploded in her jacket

ONALASKA, Wash. -- A Lewis County woman hadn't watched a fireworks celebration in years and decided this Fourth of July would be different. Unfortunately, just as the show got started, a group of people nearby lit their own rocket that struck this woman in the face.

"From about right here all the way down to here is severely burned," said Amanda Allen, pointing from the back of her neck down to the middle of her torso.

Burn wounds cover much of her upper body, and Allen is in constant pain from the firework that exploded against her skin.

Allen went with friends to a Fourth of July show at a reservation in Oakville, but never expected the crowds to be lighting off fireworks of their own.

"It was kind of like walking in a war zone, honestly," she said.

Just as the first few rockets started to light the sky, a group next to her lit a cake, or a mortar, or something - but the explosion went sideways instead of up.

The rocket hit her friend Skylar in the chest, then "bounced off of my face and down into my jacket," she said.

Allen jumped up to rip of her clothes but a zipper got stuck.

"As it's in my jacket, it's burning my chest all right here, and it explodes in my jacket as I'm ripping it off," she said.

The 24 year old had to be taken by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center, where she got her first look at the blackened wounds.

"I broke down the other day because I feel hideous," Allen said as she teared up. "I look like a monster, and it sucks."

She's also upset that the people who hurt her never came forward. She said that all she wants is an apology, but she's not going to focus her energies on someone so reckless when her main priority it to heal.

"I'm alive, I have my sight, I have my hearing, I have most of my skin," she said. "I'm going to be OK."

Chehalis Tribal Police are investigating the incident, but are getting conflicting reports of who did what, and which people are actually responsible

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