Fireworks incident inside vehicle sends 4 Limestone County teens to UAB burn unit

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. -- Four teens are in the UAB burn unit today. Police say active fireworks inside a vehicle burned the teens Wednesday night.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson says his office received a call about the incident on Stanford Street at approximately 9:18 p.m. Athens Fire and Rescue Chief Bryan Thornton reports the vehicle with the teens ran through a yard and hit two other vehicles. He says the vehicle was a total loss.

Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk identified the four injured as Malik Atkins, Zakobe Shoulders, Ashton Hines and CJ Yarbrough. School officials took to Facebook to ask for prayers for the teens.

All four were taken to UAB's burn unit to be treated. Their conditions are unknown at this time. Two of the teens recently graduated from Tanner High School. One of the teens is an upcoming senior at Tanner, according to Dr. Sisk. The fourth is a student at East Limestone High School.

Authorities are investigating the incident as an accident, however, investigators have not been able to talk to everyone involved.

Tanner's Principal Deborah Kenyon released the following statement: "Yesterday evening I was contacted by a couple of community members concerning four of our students who had been injured in an accident.  I went to Athens Hospital and was able to see two of the students, and let the family and friends know they were in my prayers. Several teachers from the school have reached out, and at least three Coaches have traveled to Birmingham to check on the students as well.  We are all very concerned, and want the students and families to know that their Tanner High School family is here to support them, they are in our thoughts and prayers."

The incident happened on Stanford Street in Athens in Jonathan Mayberry's front yard.

"My one-year-old baby saw all this fire. She heard all of this pop, pop, boom, boom, all this stuff out here. This was close to the house, her house, her car, mine," Jonathan Mayberry explained.

Jonathan Mayberry will always be haunted by the sound of fireworks after what happened last night on the 4th of July.

"When I pulled up to my house I thought it was on fire, but I noticed it was my car," Mayberry explained.

His car caught fire after the vehicle with the four boys in it crashed into his car.

According to Athens Police somehow the car went up into Mayberry`s yard. It took out a mailbox, some bushes, then crashed.

Police said fireworks played a role in the crash. "The 4th of July is for fireworks and all that, but as far as shooting them at each other. Kids need to stop it," Mayberry said.

Mayberry said before the crash a firework war took place. He said every year it happens and it needs to stop. "A firework war is where they are shooting at each other out of the car or they can be on feet shooting at each other," Mayberry said.

His heart goes out to the four boys injured. "I just pray the boys are okay cause I know every last one of them. I just hate that any and all of this happened," Mayberry said.

He said things could have been worse. "I`m just saying it`s God`s grace. God put his hand on that car and guided it away from my house because that car could have been on the inside of my house. I pray to God all of the boys make it out and be okay. That's from the heart," Mayberry said.

Mayberry said his uncle pulled two of the boys from the burning vehicle.

The condition of the four teens is unknown.

Police said the initial investigation shows this is an accident, but they still need to talk to other parties involved.


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