Girl injures foot stepping on lit firecracker

Police say a teenage girl was injured when she stepped on a lit triangular firecracker like one of the firecrackers in this photo.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A 16-year-old South Bay girl was recovering Thursday from serious injuries she suffered when she stepped on a lit firecracker — an accident that could result in criminal charges against the boy who set off the small explosive.

The victim was walking home from school in the 1400 block of Santa Diana Road in Chula Vista when she saw a boy toss what she thought was a burning leaf onto the ground in her path shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

The Otay Ranch High School student stomped on the smoking explosive to put it out, but it exploded.

She was taken by ambulance to UCSD Medical Center in San Diego, where she underwent surgery for injuries to her right foot, police said.

Officers located the boy who had tossed the device, believed to have been a flat, triangular firecracker. After questioning him and a friend who had been with him at the time of the incident, investigators concluded that the boys had not acted maliciously and hadn’t realized anyone had been hurt.

One of the boys told police he got the firecracker from a third boy, who apparently bought it legally in Arizona.

All forms of firecrackers and explosive devices are illegal in San Diego County. Possession of fireworks in California can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the violation, officials said.

Police will submit their findings to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of possible criminal charges.