Turlock Woman Struck by Illegal Firework, Escapes Serious Injury


Turlock resident Michelle Tapley was spending a pleasant July 4 night watching fireworks with family outside of a relative’s house in Ceres when suddenly the unthinkable happened.

Tapley was sitting down when a nickel-sized piece of illegal firework debris fell from the sky and struck her on her left thigh. The piece of firework was scalding hot and burned her thigh, but otherwise she is fine physically, Tapley said. However, she said that she was emotionally shaken by the incident.

“It was really scary,” Tapley said. “It could have very easily been my eye, as I was looking up at the time. It landed just a few inches away on my thigh. I was kind of shaken up a bit after that.”

She said the illegal fireworks were about a half-block away and she saw them shooting into the sky.

“The next thing I know, I feel burning on my leg,” Tapley posted on Facebook.

The children at her relative’s house became scared and elected to stand under a porch to avoid being hit by falling debris.

Tapley did not report the incident to the Ceres Police Department because she felt it would be fruitless and law enforcement would not have responded in enough time to catch the people responsible for the fireworks.

The piece of debris was a white chalk-like substance and she explained that it can be easily rubbed away with a fingernail.

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