Man dies following firework injuries

LIHU‘E – A 34-year-old man has died from injuries sustained by a firework explosion on New Year’s Eve.

Police have identified the man as Dexter Ibaan of Kapa‘a.

According to a preliminary investigation, Ibaan was attempting to light a firework when it apparently malfunctioned and exploded while he was holding it.

First responders were dispatched to the Kapa‘a residence at approximately 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Once on scene they found a bystander administering CPR to the unresponsive man. Firefighters and AMR medics took over advanced resuscitation efforts and continued efforts while in transport to Wilcox Medical Center. The man could not be revived and was later pronounced dead by a medical doctor at Wilcox Medical Center.

An autopsy is pending, but foul play is not suspected.

Volunteers with Life’s Bridges, a grief counseling service, is assisting the man’s family.

The investigation remains ongoing.

  1. Donna Alalem January 1, 2021 5:42 pm Reply

    The death of Dexter Ibaan is a tragedy. Fireworks are horrible, dangerous, and a complete waste of money. I wish they would be outlawed. Not only to they terrify defenseless animals, the death of Mr. Ibadan proves how deadly to they are.

    Sincere condolences to the Ibaan family.

  2. Kai January 1, 2021 8:57 pm Reply

    This is a tragedy. The west side has been under assault from people setting off illegal fireworks for over a month. These are not your run of the mill bottle rockets. These are very powerful explosives that have now killed someone. We’ve called KPD every night and the response is weak at best. From what we hear this problem is island wide. The lack of respect for the community is outrageous. Pets are terrorized , babies being woken up and scared at all hours of the night. Is it going to take someone to die before admin takes this problem seriously? Oh wait that just happened needlessly. There better be an investigation into where this poor man got explosives powerful enough to KILL. . I pray for his family and I pray for Kauai. The rule of law is under assault on Kauai.

    1. LMat January 4, 2021 10:37 am Reply

      I live on Elepaio Rd., up close to Davidsons. I was hearing one loud BOOM every night for days. One every night. My dogs would go crazy. But it sounded far away. I just thought it was idiots being idiots. On Christmas night, my family went to my mom’s house on Nanamua, in the Gardens. My husband and young son were out in the front yard that night and there goes the BOOM. He said it shook the ground. He could feel the vibration in his chest. Left his ears ringing. He told us, that wasn’t a firework, that was a bomb.
      Apparently it’s going on in a few different places on the mainland too… some weird conspiracy thing…? IDK.

  3. War Bombs January 1, 2021 11:32 pm Reply

    it’s getting worse and apparently more dangerous…sounds like bombs…time to cut back on explosive power.

    Maybe sell only bomb recordings, perhaps only ear phone reception.

    Must be said that more have in all of 2020 died from fireworks than a whole year of the Covid-19 virus.

    Condolences, with pain, to his family.

    Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  4. MisterM January 2, 2021 12:54 am Reply

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    1. Kappa Neighbor it January 2, 2021 7:38 pm Reply

      A 34 year old young man. Probably a father definitely a son probably a husband probably a brother definitely a friend probably a cousin what a tragedy.

      So he’s out there with his friends and family hundreds of people at least 100.. being a good dad being a good host having fun and something went wrong.

      But they say it was a fireworks accident it wasn’t a fireworks accident it was an illegal fireworks accident that killed a man.

      I’m sure he knew that you’re probably not supposed to light off mortars in the street I know that and I still do it used to do it…

      But he probably didn’t know that it was a felony over 25 lb which I’m sure that’s not that much for a good celebration..

      The laws are put in place to protect us from doing silly things to ourselveves..

      I truly don’t believe he knew how dangerous they were.. but somebody sold him a bomb that killed him and should probably answer for that.

      The whole thing of law enforcement looking the other way has to stop right now enough is enough.

      Every cop in town knew whathe was doing it wasn’t a secret.. look up in the sky.. it’s not the first time cops have been called to his Street
      .. but didn’t even ever bother to talk to whoever was causing the 911 call at 12:30 at night the other night.

      I feel for his family and I hope that this serves as a lesson for everybody and then maybe a law or a policy is written around him in his honor to stop people from importing these and selling them.

      You got to get to the source how are you able to bring explosives into Hawaii are we not worried about people blowing up our planes and our ports

      The mortars are small sticks of dynamite.. there were kids playing in the street and saw the whole thing fortunately they weren’t hurt but unfortunately he was..

      What a tragic accident

      Somebody please set up a GoFundMe page please.

      Rest in peace.

      God bless you and your family.

      I’m so sorry I didn’t know you were injured or I would have helped.

  5. awapuhi January 2, 2021 6:56 am Reply

    My condolences to his family are sincere; but we must remember that celebratory fireworks are dangerous and maybe should be left to professionally trained personnel.

  6. Makani B. Howard January 2, 2021 10:20 am Reply

    When are we finally going to ban these childish idiot things?

  7. I saw a Vampire once January 2, 2021 12:11 pm Reply

    This kind cases could have been prevented it he would have gone to watch a professional display show at Vidhina stadium. Just sit and relax and watch the show. Instead they all want to be included in the show. I figured something like this was going to happen. First fatality of the year and it is because of a firework accident. A hard luck case.

  8. Kekuhaopio January 2, 2021 3:29 pm Reply

    Before we start coming down on illegal fireworks let’s maybe ask if it was a homemade bomb of some sort..? I am a responsible “illegal” aerial fireworks enthusiast. Aerial fireworks are a wonderful and amazing way to celebrate new years and fourth of July. It should be your choice to celebrate how you want. I heard seatbelts kill people too. Should we fine someone for not using it? Should we make all seatbelts illegal due to the scores of people it kills? It should be a choice. CHOICE

    1. Kai January 3, 2021 2:50 am Reply

      Kekuhaopio, hey maybe you should consider that in a civil society you don’t get to choose which laws work for you and which ones don’t. People like you are exactly the problem. A total lack of consideration and arrogance towards your fellow citizens by thinking you’re a responsible law breaker is the problem. You’re the kind of person that got Polihale closed and should really grow up and think about how your behavior affects others. The lack of respect for the community right now on Kauai is shocking.

    2. HANS ROEGER January 3, 2021 8:18 am Reply

      The analogy to seatbelts is wrong. Seatbelts have been proven to save countless lives. Fireworks never save lives. Banning fireworks would have only positive consequences, except for some who will miss a few seconds of excitement.

    3. hutch January 3, 2021 10:19 am Reply

      Dumbest comment ever printed in this newspaper. And to think that this clown votes.

      1. Makani B. Howard January 4, 2021 9:57 am Reply


        I believe your comment takes that prize!

  9. Awake January 2, 2021 4:07 pm Reply

    With condolences to the family. How many endangered wildlife dead or seriously harmed by the fireworks (yes, mostly bombs-as stated above) insanity? Pets and people terrorized, and property burned down! Not to mention the air pollution. The executive branch is responsible. Time to grow up and take this seriously. BAN fireworks!

  10. Kai January 2, 2021 7:36 pm Reply

    So now someone has been killed by explosives that we’ve been trying to tell KPD about for over a month. Not an illegal firework but an explosive. Not even in the explosion Tennessee was someone killed and look at the response that got. Please KPD the Mayor, The County Council do something about this now we are under assault.

    1. Kapaa Neighbor January 2, 2021 11:17 pm Reply

      Yes I guess it says it all hopefully they’re listening thank you for putting it so clear and decisive.

  11. what if? January 2, 2021 10:22 pm Reply

    If it does not stop and another dies, a child perhaps, whi os responsible, child manslaughter?

    It can all be avoided…

    A stitch in time saves loved lives.

    Time to outlaw the big noise stuff.

  12. Sue January 3, 2021 10:17 am Reply

    If you are found with drugs in your possession you get arrested. Why not fireworks?

    The powers that be claim that they must see them “setting the fireworks off.” Stupid. Do they only arrest those they actually see “taking drugs?” No.

    If someone is in the possession of the fireworks they should be arrested or handed a huge fine. This would end the demand for these infantile noisemakers.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.