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Woman hit by homemade cannonball died instantly

March 6, 2012 |  6:09 pm

A 39-year-old handyman and explosives enthusiast was arrested Tuesday after a bizarre incident in which his live-in girlfriend was killed when a cannonball rocketed through the couple's trailer in eastern San Diego County.

Richard Fox, 39, was arrested on charges relating to the negligent discharge of  explosives causing injury. Fox's girlfriend, 38, was killed instantly, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Fox and a friend were loading a homemade cannon with powder from fireworks when it exploded shortly after midnight, sending shrapnel into the trailer where Fox, his girlfriend, and their 4-year-old daughter lived.

The child and three other adults in the trailer were unharmed.

Fox, who had been drinking, was burned in the explosion and treated at a local hospital, authorities said. The couple had lived in the trailer in Potrero, in rural eastern San Diego County, for several years.


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--Tony Perry in San Diego