UPDATE: Beaufort man recovering after fireworks accident

Payton (right) with his family, after being discharged from MUSC on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Payton Johnson, 20, of Beaufort, was released from MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) on Wednesday afternoon. Johnson suffered broken hands, injuries to his eye and face and burns to his hands, arms, stomach and chest, after a fireworks malfunction on July 4. He had been shooting fireworks on a boat at about 9:30 p.m. when one exploded.

“When I came up, I saw him on the ground. There was lots of blood,” says Johnson’s mother, Christine Johnson.

Payton was in surgery on Tuesday at MUSC. In good spirits, he’s hopeful he’ll regain full use of his hands. He volunteers as a first responder with Beaufort Water Rescue. He remembers all that happened, and says he never passed out; he could feel himself go into shock.

“He said there was a loud explosion in his ears, and his ears were ringing and he felt everything breaking in his hands as it was doing it and he described it to us, the tendons ripping,” Christine Johnson says. “It was pretty much a malfunction and he knew right away that something was about to go wrong.”

They’re grateful to the first responders on scene, several who knew Payton. Shooting fireworks without a permit in illegal in Beaufort County; Payton’s family says the unfortunate accident could have happened to anyone. They hope others can see how dangerous fireworks can be, from Payton’s experience.

The family welcomes help, expecting loads of medical bills. There’s no fundraiser or ‘Go Fund Me’ set up yet, but the family welcomes prayer.


BEAUFORT, S.C. -Deputies say a Beaufort man is in critical condition after fireworks malfunctioned during July 4th celebrations Monday night.

20-year-old Payton Johnson is undergoing surgeries at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office says Johnson was shooting fireworks from a boat when they malfunctioned, burning him severely.

He suffered burns to his hand, wrist, arm, chest, face and one of his eyes.

We are following the story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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