A former CNBC producer was killed when his vape exploded and lodged in his skull, according to an autopsy confirmed by the medical examiner of Pinellas County.
Tallmadge Wakeman D’Elia, 38, who went by “Wake,” died on Cinco de Mayo in St. Petersburg, FL after his vape pen ignited a fire in his bedroom. The autopsy results reportedly showed the vape not only exploded and sparked the blaze, but it made a “projectile wound” in D’Elia’s skull.
Bill Pellan, Director of Investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the report.
The vape pen was reportedly a device made in the Philippines that is unregulated and not recommended for beginners. It’s still unclear what caused the pen to explode.
When firefighters discovered him, 45% of his body was covered in burns. The medical examiner says D’Elia’s cause of death is “accidental.”
A recent FEMA/ US Fire Administration report found e-cigarette and vape explosions are not common but when they do occur, they can be extremely deadly as the shape of the devices make them behave like “flaming rockets.”
FEMA, which keeps stats on e-cigarettes, says D’Elia’s death is the first in the U.S. caused by a vape pen.
Has a loved one been killed in an accident due to a defective product and you have questions? We want to help in your case because we care about the outcome, hoping that we can achieve compensation you deserve. Call us as soon as possible to find out how we can assist with your case at Reyes Browne Reilley.
Note: These posts have been created through the use of secondary sources – the information provided has not been confirmed on an independent level. If you see information that needs correcting, please bring it to our attention and we will honor the post by correcting, or removing.
Disclaimer: At our firm, we wish to honor the victims of these tragedies and give general information to the public about accident news. We do not wish to disrespect parties and do not want this information to be misconstrued as medical or legal advice. Do not rely on this information exclusively, and instead seek the help of a trusted attorney moving forward.