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Bucks County Man Struck With Mortar, Killed During Neighborhood Fireworks Show

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Ray Criblear was the neighborhood guy who had the great fireworks show every 4th of July.

They weren’t the kind of full scale size fireworks that blasted over the Art Museum, but still his Levittown neighbors say Criblear could put on a show.

“I wanted to go see Ray’s fireworks show because he’s the top dog around here,” said neighbor Patrick Boyle.

But as Ray was lighting his last firework Monday night, friends say he noticed the three inch mortar he was about to drop into a PVC tube had a short fuse.

“When he went to walk away, it got the whole back side of him,” Boyle said.

Tyler Ellis was right there when the fun night took a terrible turn at around 11 p.m.

“It was the most insane, terrible thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Ellis said.

Criblear, who was in his 50’s, was killed in front of his longtime girlfriend and dozens of neighbors along Umber Road, including Mary Boyle’s 11-year-old granddaughter.

“She said ‘he got hit by a firework in the face.’ I said what?” Mary Boyle said.

Watch The Video …

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that the lesson is clear when it comes to dealing with what has been described as illegal fireworks.

“I’m going to go watch them at the shows, that’s it. No backyard fireworks. Even though he’s done them for years and knew what he was doing, I guess it can just happen to anyone,” Ellis said.

It’s not clear where Criblear bought the fireworks. The accident remains under investigation.

Reported by Todd Quinones, CBS 3

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  • Debbie

    Good for you Jenn & Nick. People are always ready to judge. Instead of of having respect for the person or their family! Ray is my brothe-in-laws brother. They would do anything for anyone!! Have a little respect & compassion people! The whole family are in my prayers RIP Ray.

  • Bryan Hills

    FUNNY…We were in an expensive unit one day, Ray said to me: “Many Clams for this one Bryan!”…Soon,…A clam was born…my new nickname & e-mail given to me by Ray…CLAM — ///
    Ray was routing wires under a vehicle one time, completely stuck, needed assistance,…yells out…”Clammer!”…Old man Ron sees the wires moving (and not knowing they were tangled in his long hair) says…”I got em Ray” and starts pulling!…”Owww,….Owww…Stop Pulling!….”What’d you say pull?,…I am,…I am”…”Owww,….Owwwwww!”— A 2 Stooges momment in history. /// The list goes on and on! ——

    Hey Ray?…Where’s the circular saw?, and the this,…and the”…”Where I was using it last,…Where else!”

    Freakin Ray……………We love ya buddy!

    • Tiredofitall ....

      Bryan, it’s so good that you have so many wonderful memories of this Gentleman. I’m sure everybody who knows him does. Ray will never be forgotten. He must have been an extraordinary human being. Rest In Peace, Ray. You’re in a much better place. You are definitely missed.

  • Bryan Hills

    I worked with Rayfor 4 years. Absolutely, he always loved to bring fun to the people around him…We had great laughs together!…Gave me one of my nicknames CLAM,…hence…my e-mail……Often talk about those times…Will carry Rays memories forever……………

  • Jenn

    That was my UNCLE you Jerk! If you don’t have anything NICE to say Don’t Say It AT ALL! So grow up!

    • anon513

      Jenn: You can’t pay any attention to the likes of that kelprod (cattleprod) guy. He’s one of those heartless people who always comment on these posts and never have anything good to say about anybody. I Pray for your Uncle to Rest In Peace and my Prayers go out to your Family and Friends for your loss. Stay strong. God is walking this tough walk with all of you.

  • Anonymous

    My Prayers go out to the Family and Friends of this man. What a terrible accident.

  • Concerned Citizen.

    He was a great man with a huge family who loved him
    The neighbors are quite the characters
    He had illegal fire works
    He didn’t deserve this

    Stop with the nasty comments… How can you judge someone you’ve never met.. i’m sure you have all done your fair share of things you shouldn’t have… and had your reasons.. so please show some respect… the last thing his wife and grandchildren need is to see nasty comments posted on the internet..

  • Brad Goren

    In addition, at SHOOTS we are REQUIRED to wear
    Eye protection
    Ear protection
    Have a magazine for the fireworks
    Long sleeves and pants
    Lead shooter who directs the event and is also the saftey officer

    Please join Skylighters or PGI if you want training and safety. Its a great hobby, but please do it right.

  • RNE

    anyone watch the video? How bout the guy with no shirt half way through, throwing trash in the street infront of his own house, nice neighbors!

  • Phil

    Mortars are NOT “backyard” fireworks. It’s a shame people don’t know the difference.

    I have almost 25 years experience in setting off backyard fireworks which are far safer than these mortar shells which most fatal injuries come from, The worst injury I ever witnessed was a minor burn to the finger from a match before it was even set off.

  • Nick

    You know, the News isn’t always what it’s made out to be. As a matter of fact i’m uncertain as to why someone would dare comment on something they are unsure of? Isn’t this a waste of your time, energy and overall is it even relevant to your life? He was a great man with no lessons to be learned, he knew the dangers, but always kept his eye on the golden prize of keeping everyone around him happy; this news report does him very little justice on the events that actually occured the fatal night of July 4th, 2011. Take it form Raymond Criblear’s Grandson himself, he was a wonderful warm hearted man. R.I.P. Poppy Ray i will always love and miss you with all my heart.

  • Bob P

    People don’t learn…. it’s a shame it takes an accident like this to make people aware how dangerous they are, and are illegal for a REASON!

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