LIBERTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An effort to delight family and friends at a gender reveal event proved deadly for a New York man. Police say a device that was intended to shower colored powder blew up instead, killing 28-year-old father-to-be Chris Pekny.
It happened Feb. 21 in the Town of Liberty. State police say Pekny was preparing for a gender reveal event at his home. While preparing a practice device intended to explode in a cloud of colored powder, the device exploded early.READ MORE: Hillsborough County Public Schools Avoid State Takeover With COVID-19 Money
Flying shrapnel also wounded his brother, Michael. WCBS-TV learned he suffered injuries to his head and torso and was taken to a hospital in Orange County for treatment.
State police say there was no malicious intent with the explosive device and it is being investigated as a tragic accident.READ MORE: 'A Birthday Present To Ahmaud': Georgia's Citizen's Arrest Law Is Repealed
Gender reveals sometimes flirt with danger. Police in Australia released video of a car rigged to spew blue smoke for a baby boy. Unfortunately, the car also went up in flames. In 2019, a grandmother-to-be was killed at a home in rural Iowa when a gender reveal explosive device blew up.
The U.S. Forest Service says another gender reveal pyrotechnic created a massive forest fire.
In Sullivan County, friends are remembering Pekny as a big-hearted, kind, fun loving person. At the Livingston Manor Diner, owned by Pekny’s family, candles and flowers now symbolize the heartbreak his friends and family feel.MORE NEWS: Norcross Inn Homicide Suspect Arrested
His family released a statement saying they’re heartbroken by his loss, but grateful for the community’s outpouring of love and support.