Charges possible in children's injuries
Maui police yesterday opened a criminal case against the parents of two children who were critically injured while playing with fireworks on New Year's Eve.
An 11-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister were badly burned while playing with fireworks in the bed of a pickup truck at their home on Pu'uloa Street in Lower Waiehu, police said. Officials were told that all the fireworks in the truck bed ignited, and that the children's clothes caught on fire.
Both children were taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition and later flown to Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu.
Their 5-year-old brother also suffered burns and is recovering at home.
Police initially classified the incident as a "miscellaneous accident," but yesterday opened a child abuse/neglect case against the parents.
The parents also face possible charges of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and reckless endangering, police said.
Police said in a news release that the parents "failed to recognize that there was an imminent risk of bodily injury when they allowed their children to play with fireworks."
The parents also "recklessly endangered" the children and "failed to properly care for and protect" them, police said.
The case has been turned over to the Maui prosecutor for review.
The names of the parents were not released by police.