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Freak Fireworks Accident In Park County Puts 4 In The Hospital

UCHealth Burn and Frostbite Center in Aurora, CO

A freak accident on July 4th has put four people from Powell in a burn center in Denver.

Details of how the car erupted into flames are being investigated at this time, but somehow fireworks in the back of the car ignited, severely burning all four passengers while they were driving toward Lovell.

Riley Birkey, 23, Dylan McEwan, 25, Landon Smallwood, 18, and Tucker Schulenberg, 16 were taken to or airlifted to hospitals. Three are now at area being treated at the UC Burn and Frostbite Center in Aurora, Colorado. One person is the Swedish Medical Center, in the Denver metro.

Megan O’Halloran, a sister of one of the victims, described her brother’s injuries as “pretty nasty burns on one side of his body and the inside of his throat,” in a Facebook post.

“Dylan is my youngest brother. He’s a twin. And he has a heart of gold,” recounts his sister.

Recuperation will be a long and arduous process when someone suffers burns on and in their bodies.

Burn recovery starts almost as soon as the patient is admitted to the hospital with a serious burn, according to Temple University. In fact, most patients begin some kind of therapies even before they’re able to get out of bed and actively participate in their own recovery.

But recovery is a personal journey — how long recovery takes varies from person to person. Some people will need burn rehab for a couple of months, while others may need therapies for years.

“It will take a long time to heal [from their burns],” says O’Halloran. “I know some of the boy’s will be in the hospital for upwards of six to eight months. They are all definitely dealing with something horrific right now”

All four young men will require surgeries, therapy, and additional treatment in Denver, according to their family members on Facebook.

There has been a Facebook page setup by Megan O’Halloran that is keeping the community up-to-date with information on the young men as well as how people can contribute. There will also be a bank account open for people who want to physically walk up and donate.

There is also an online auction scheduled for August 3rd.

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