Teenage victim of fireworks accident changes story

Javonte McNair lost hand, possibly eyesight in July 8 accident

Javonte McNair lost his hand in a fireworks accident July 8 in Fort Lauderdale.
Javonte McNair lost his hand in a fireworks accident July 8 in Fort Lauderdale.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Fort Lauderdale teenager who lost his hand in a fireworks accident now admits he did not originally tell the truth about how it happened. 

Javonte McNair, 13, told detectives last weekend that he tried to light a firework with which other boys in his neighborhood were playing July 8. He did not realize it was already lit when it exploded onto his right hand and left him with severe injuries to his eye.

McNair had originally told police he caught the lit firework when other children threw it his way as he rode his bicycle.

A GoFundMe website set up by his big brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County program provided the update. 

"We are relieved to know no one intentionally hurt Javonte," wrote Troy McHatton. "We regretted that we had shared so much of the unconfirmed initial story. But when we thought how traumatic it must have been for a 13-year-old boy to look down at his arm and see the damage, to go through eight hours of surgery and to know that by doing something dumb, his life wouldn't be the same, we felt a flood of forgiveness."

The fund has raised more than $20,800 of the $40,000 goal. It is still unclear whether McNair will regain sight in his left eye.

According to McHatton, McNair's family will still need financial assistance to pay for medical bills from two surgeries, physical therapy and counseling.