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Freeman driver dies in tragic fireworks accident

Larry Przybyla

Larry Przybyla

Lawrence “Larry” Przybyla, long-time truck driver at Freeman, died on Memorial Day due to a tragic fireworks accident.

In an email sent to Freeman employees, Lee Grove, director of operations in Chicago, said:

“Larry was loved not only by his family, but by his Freeman family as well. Always there with a smile and a willingness to help everyone and anyone. He was a behind-the-scenes unsung hero and made our company a better place. He is and will always be missed.”


In response to this tragic death, Freeman has raised more than $3,000 in donations to help aid the family and offset costs during the grieving process. At the time the donations were presented, Freeman also delivered a oversized card signed by employees who worked with Przybyla and are also mourning his loss.

The Pryzbyla family has also been accepted as a Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic (RSMGC) recipient. The objective of the

Freeman card

Freeman delivered an oversized card signed by employees who worked with Larry to the Pryzbyla Family.

RSMGC is to help families in the exhibition industry who have suffered severe tragedies or face insurmountable medical expenses. Their commitment is to provide financial and emotional support to all past and present recipients and their families.

Since its inception in 1995, the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classics and its officially sanctioned ancillary events have assisted over 70 families with financial and emotional support. A full list of previous recipients can be found at www.rsmgc.com.

The 2011 tournament will be held October 10 at the St. Ives Country Club in Johns Creek, Ga. (Visit the web site to sponsor or participate in the event.)

Pryzbyla, who is survived by his wife Laura, son Lawrence, and daughter Nicole, was 47 years old.

A memorial service for Larry was held on June 4 at First United Methodist Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

With the reminder of this heartbreaking death and Fourth of July just around the corner, firework safety is becoming a relevant and pertinent topic.

Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as traditional as cookouts and parades.

“It is equally safe if a few rules are followed,” said Dr. John Steinberg, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Fireworks Safety.

But he notes, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 5,900 firework related injuries during the Fourth of July season in 2009.

These injuries would not have occurred if there had been close adult supervision or if some safety steps had been taken. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers many fireworks tips in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season.

The Council suggests that all fireworks be used with water ready in case of emergencies.

They also recommend only using fireworks as intended, and never using homemade explosives. All fireworks should also be used at a safe distance.

To brush up on firework precautions and techniques, please visit the National Council on Firework Safety website at www.fireworksafety.com

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