LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - A man was seriously injured early Wednesday morning when a black powder homemade cannon exploded in his face.
Deputies were called to the 2300 block of Keener Road at 1:15 a.m., where paramedics and firefighters were on the scene treating the patient.
The man was lying against a door on the side porch of the residence with what appeared to be serious head injuries.
Several family and friends were inside the residence and told officers they didn't see what happened but they heard the explosion.
One woman told officers when the loud explosion occurred she saw Timothy Crouse Hester, 41, of Lincolnton, flying across the porch in a cloud of smoke and land against the door. Hester had been shooting the cannon during the night to celebrate the new year.
Hester was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln, where an awaiting medical helicopter airlifted him to the Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center in Winston Salem.
Hester suffered second-degree burns to the face and cornea damage to one eye. He is expected to be released from the hospital Friday. The homemade cannon was seized as evidence in the case.
Investigation into the incident is continuing.
To see more local news stories, click here.