A Pacific Beach man is dead after suffering severe burns following an accidental explosion at a minor league baseball game on Friday, according to officials.
William “Willy” Calabrese, 20, was preparing a fireworks show early Friday evening for the Lake Elsinore Storm baseball game, the San Diego Padre's minor league team, when an explosion happened.
Calabrese was burned over 90 percent of his body, along with a truck nearby reportedly carrying the fireworks. The UC Santa Barbara student succumbed to his injuries early Sunday morning.
The exact cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Fireworks America, the Lakeside fireworks company, Calabrese was working for Friday, has not released a statement regarding the incident.
The president Fireworks America, Joe Bartolotta, told NBC 7 San Diego that "He was one of us, and we'll miss him."
His parents said they are in a state of disbelief.
"A parent's worst nightmare is losing your child,” Janice Calabrese, William’s mother, told NBC 7 San Diego.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said William’s father Ron Sr.
The Lake Elsinore Storm baseball team released a statement saying, "This tragic accident has left the Storm community devastated and shaken by this loss. We feel the emptiness and offer Will's family and friends our compassion and sympathy."
Calabrese, a Pacific Beach native who attended La Jolla High School, was remembered by a vigil on Sunday night. Friends and family gathered at the garden Calabrese helped built as a cub scout at Pacific Beach Christian Church to celebrate his life.
Dozens turned out at the vigil, including friends from his water polo days, to keep his memory alive.
"Will was just the greatest brother I could have,” said his brother Ron Jr. "He was guy that really stuck to his guns a man of principle and he did what he loved. He really did."