Northwest NEWS

January 10, 2000

Local News

Kenmore man hurt by fireworks

   KENMORE--James Ulrich, 21-year-old Kenmore resident, was critically injured at 11:50 p.m. on New Year's Eve when a Class B commercial sky rocket mortar blew up in his face.

   Harborview Hospital in Seattle said Ulrich suffered major facial trauma in the form of burns and abrasions, and he might have permanent damage to one eye. Ulrich had just lit the sky rocket, but the rocket did not go off in the expected length of time.

   The rocket finally went off, just as he looked down the tube to see what went wrong. Ulrich was celebrating with friends in the 7900 block of Simonds Rd. NE in Kenmore.

   The accident was one of two New Year's near-death experiences reported by King County Police. A 13-year-old Kent girl was hit in the head by a .45-caliber bullet fired from an unknown source that came through her family's roof and living room ceiling. The bullet had lost most of its energy by the time it hit the girl, and only left a bump on her head.

   The night was relatively quiet, other than that, said Deputy John Urquhart. Sheriff's deputies responded to 16 calls for "out-of-hand" parties and to 15 automobile accidents, four of which involved injuries, said Urquhart.

   Urquhart said this New Year's was an unusually poor time to drink and drive, because the Y2K alert put 250 more deputies on King County roads than usual. They arrested 14 DUI drivers.

   "For New Year's Eve, this was a quiet night," said Sheriff Dave Reichert. "We are pleased that people chose to have a good time responsibly, and that there were almost no major incidents."