A western Nebraska rancher and his wife are grateful for community support after a fireworks accident at a public show damaged both of his eyes.
Luke Norman, 35, was badly injured during a July Fourth show following the Old West Trail PRCA Rodeo in Crawford. His wife, Erin Norman, said Thursday that her husband was flown to a hospital near Denver for treatment of his injuries.
Norman, who has been with the Crawford Volunteer Fire Department for about 10 years, was wearing protective gear during the event, his wife said. Some fireworks tipped over and then struck Norman’s face shield, breaking it into pieces.
“He still has debris in the right eye, but he’s now able to see enough out of it to get around the house,” Erin Norman said. “He can’t see out of his left eye, but he will have surgery again in a couple of weeks. He’s got a bit of a long road ahead of him.”
Crawford is a town of about 1,000 in Dawes County in the northwestern part of the state. It’s about 25 miles southwest of Chadron.
The Normans and their five young children live on a ranch north of Crawford. Luke Norman, his wife said, is independent and is used to being busy.
“He’s helped out with the fireworks committee for about eight years,” she said. “They go through a lot of safety training.”
The family, she said, has been overwhelmed by community support. People have been bringing over food, offering to baby-sit and taking the kids to the local pool.
“We really appreciate all the support and prayers,” she said. “This could have been a lot worse. He could’ve been killed.”
Donations for the Norman family are being accepted at the Security First Bank of Crawford. To make a donation, mail a check payable to Luke Norman to Security First Bank, P.O. Box 506, Crawford, NE 69339. Cash also can be dropped off at the bank.