There were a number of fireworks injuries from Thursday night, but the most serious occurred on the Southwest Side, causing one woman to lose a foot and her sister-in-law to suffer serious injuries to a leg.
Demetrious Salinas, 14, watched from a window as a stray firework flew into the crowd at West Lawn Park around 11 p.m. Thursday night, hitting Lorena Perez and her sister-in-law Kristina in the legs.
The fireworks show was a tradition the Lorena and Kristina had with their friends every Fourth of July, according to Lorena’s parents.
Both women suffered serious injuries. Kristina, 32, lost her left foot at the ankle and suffered serious injuries to her right. When we spoke with family members earlier Thursday, they said they believe she will also lose her right leg below the knee.
Lorena, 36, broke her leg and suffered serious burns to the lower portion of her body..
Today police were back at the park, located in the 66th and South Keeler. Fireworks debris was strewn across the area. Police also recovered pieces of a torn converse shoe.
Lorena’s dad says they often worried about the girls going to the park on the Fourth of July, a sentiment echoed by neighbors in the area.
Neighbors estimate some 200 people came to the park last night to watch fireworks being lit by a number of people, but who exactly lit the fireworks that hit Lorena and Kristina is unknown.
The Bomb and Arson squad is assisting Chicago police in its investigation.