A 24-year-old man has died from injuries he sustained when shrapnel from an exploding vape pen pierced his face and neck. The explosion that fatally injured William Brown, 24, occurred January 27, 2019, as he sat in his grandmother’s car in the parking lot outside Smoke & Vape DZ in Ft. Worth.
The manager of the store, who called an ambulance after the explosion occurred, said Mr. Brown did not purchase anything from the store which does not sell the brand of device that exploded. Mr. Brown was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital where doctors placed him in a medically induced coma. They told the family he would need surgery within the next day or two to remove a piece of shrapnel that had lodged in his neck, his grandmother Alice Brown told media outlets. But early the next morning, hospital staff found Mr. Brown face down on the floor. He had suffered a stroke and died the next day.
During a funeral service this week, family and friends mourned the loss of a bright, energetic young man whose heart was full of love.
“We must work to vindicate the injuries and fatalities caused by these unsafe products,” said Lindsay Lien Rinholen, an attorney who represents people who have been injured by vape pens and families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. “These devices are largely unregulated aside from nicotine and designed in a way that puts unsuspecting users at risk of explosions. Vapes use high-powered batteries in a tube–which essentially becomes the barrel of a gun during an explosion.”