Sheffield golf star, 24, engulfed in flames and left with horrific burns as vape pen explodes in car
A professional golfer from Sheffield has revealed how he was engulfed in flames and left with third degree burns after his vape pen exploded while he was driving.
Will Hawksworth, 24, says he suffered horrific burns to his chest and stomach when the brand new batteries on his vape pen blew up in his pocket as he drove back from the supermarket with his girlfriend Molly Biney, 25, near his Sheffield home.
WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES
Mr Hawksworth's clothes melted and his chest was alight while he frantically found somewhere to park the Audi A5 hired car before he leapt out to extinguish the flames on January 21, 2018.
The vape pen burned through his gilet and fell between the seats of the car, leaving Mr Hawksworth horrified as he watched it go up in flames, he said.
He is now in the process of claiming compensation from e-cigarette battery company Efest.
Mr Hawksworth, a Professional PGA golfer, said: 'It felt like I was being burned alive.
'It was the most painful thing you could ever imagine. My clothes burnt onto my chest and my skin was completely burnt.
'I was terrified. I thought this was it and I could have lost my life. I'll never go near a vape pen ever again. They are lethal.'
Mr Hawksworth started smoking cigarettes aged 15 but took the decision to quit around five years ago.
He turned to e-cigarettes, also known as vape pens, to help kick the habit.
Mr Hawksworth says he has smoked a vape pen every day for five years and they have helped him to quit smoking completely.
He claims he's never had an issue - until last January when he bought brand new batteries for his vape pen and charged them at home before inserting them in his vape.
Disaster struck as Mr Hawksworth and Ms Biney drove home and sparks started to fly out of his gilet pocket.
Mr Hawksworth added: 'Molly said ''quick, stop, there are sparks coming out of your jacket''.
'I heard a noise that sounded like fireworks and then my gilet just burst into flames.
'The battery blew up as I pulled over. By the time I stopped I was pretty much engulfed in flames.
'It burnt through my clothes and fell down the side of the car seat. I got out and took my clothes off and covered myself in snow. It was agony.
'The car just went up in flames. It was completely burnt out.'
The couple dialled 999 and called for the fire and ambulance services.
Mr Hawksworth was taken to the Northern General Hospital by ambulance and treated for severe burns as fire firefighters fought the blaze.
He was given emergency burns and gel packs to soothe the pain and medics went about cleaning his wounds.
Mr Hawksworth was allowed home after six hours of treatment but had to attend regular appointments at the burns clinic having suffered second and third degree burns to his torso.
He has been left with scars for life and irritable skin that glows bright red when exposed to heat.
Doctors gave him the option of a skin graft but he turned the surgery down because he didn't want to create further wounds on his body
Mr Hawksworth said: 'My appearance does bother me, especially when I'm on holiday. My skin gets very aggravated when it's hot. I can't really expose it to the sun.
'It is horrible to live with now. It could have ended so much worse. I feel lucky to be alive.'
Since the incident he has opened a compensation claim against Efest and is hoping to take the company to court.
Efest has been contacted for a statement.