Woman killed in illegal fireworks explosion on New Year’s Day, boyfriend critically injured

A 38-year-old woman from Hawaii was killed just after midnight New Year’s Day in a fireworks accident in Oahu and a 36-year-old man described as her longtime partner was critically injured in the same accident.

Authorities said the victims, identified as Liona Spencer and Keoki Medeiros, were lighting illegal fireworks at a New Year’s gathering when one of the fireworks exploded, killing Spencer and severely injuring Medeiros.

A family statement released Monday said Spencer was “known for cracking jokes, being reliable under pressure, and being a caring and kind person.”

“Although Liona died from a tragic accident, she did so after living a vibrant life full of amazing moments, having left an indelible impression upon everyone she met,” the family said.

Spencer and Medeiros had two children together.

There have been no arrests or fines in the case, but police are investigating.