Teen loses toes after firecracker explosion near Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A teen lost two toes after stepping on a lit firecracker as she walked home from school in Chula Vista.

Chula Vista police confirmed to 10News that the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon and involved a 16-year-old girl near Otay Ranch High School.

Police said the girl was walking home at about 2:50 p.m. in the 1400 block of Santa Diana Road as two boys walked in front of her. According to police, one of the boys in the group lit a firecracker, tossed it over his shoulder and it landed in front of the girl.

The girl, believing the object was a leaf on fire, stepped on it with her right foot to put it out when it exploded.

Police said the girl lost two toes as a result of the explosion. No other injuries were reported.

Officers tracked down the boys, and they -- as well as their parents – are cooperating with police. The boys are reportedly students of Otay Ranch High School. 

Police told 10News they believe the boy who tossed the firecracker did not intend to hurt anyone and also did not know the girl was injured.

He told police that he "obtained the firework from another juvenile who goes to another school."

Police later determined that the firecracker was bought legally in Yuma, Arizona.

As of now, no charges are being filed. However, police said they would "submit their findings to the District Attorney's Office for consideration of charges."

Chula Vista police issued this reminder:

This incident was a tragic reminder to our community that possession of illegal fireworks is a crime in San Diego County because they are inherently dangerous. Under California law, illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner.

Parents should be especially vigilant to ensure they do not allow their children to buy, use or possess fireworks of any kind. Possession of fireworks is a misdemeanor and can sometimes be a felony depending on circumstances and safe disposal of fireworks is critical. If anyone comes across fireworks or has fireworks in their possession, you may surrender them to the police department or the fire department for proper destruction. Persons surrendering fireworks for destruction will not face prosecution for possession.
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