A 24-year-old man from Fort Worth, Texas, died last week in a gruesome accident involving a vape pen.
On his way home from the bank on Jan. 27, William Brown made a quick stop to reload his e-cigarette at a vape shop in Keller, his grandmother told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
When Brown got back in his car and started puffing, the pen exploded in his face, and the bottom of the device “shot through his neck and lodged back there,” Alice Brown said.
WATCH: AOC ‘The President Was Unprepared, I Don’t Think He Did His Homework’
According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, the explosion tore open William Brown’s left carotid artery, causing a “cerebral infraction” (a stroke) and internal bleeding.
Brown tried to pull himself out of the car, crawling all the way to the trunk before collapsing on the sidewalk, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The owner of the Smoke and Vape DZ store (which, according to BuzzFeed denied selling the explosive e-cigarette) told KVTV that he immediately summoned an ambulance and made sure Brown was hastened to JPS hospital, where the young man was put in a medically-induced coma. Brown died two days later, only a couple weeks before his 25th birthday.
Alice Brown blamed the doctors for not operating on her grandson in time: “Murder. Not quite 25-years-old, and he should have had a long life ahead of him. He should have made it if they had done the surgery.”
In response to Brown’s accusations, JPS issued a statement saying that the hospital “will take family concerns seriously as we review all that transpired.”
Brown also told the Star-Telegram that it was in part her grandson’s asthma that compelled him to start vaping. A friend had told him that it would make him “breathe good,” she said.
“It just hurts so bad,” said Brown, who has contacted an investigator to look into the death. “Now he’ll never see that birthday. It’s a waste of the things he could have accomplished.”
E-cigarettes have rapidly become a trend among millennials and Gen X-ers in recent years, even as smoking rates have declined. While the products are marketed as a safer alternative to tobacco products, research on the health affects of vaping is in early stages.
The FDA cracked down on teen vaping last September, but young adults are still free to take the risk.
WATCH: ‘World’s Hottest Weather Girl’ Rages at Man for Filming Her ‘Journalism’ From Behind