Tire Explosion That Killed Florida Shop Employee Under Investigation

June 28, 2024
Bill Abouatallah, who has 40 years in the auto repair industry, believes there are questions that need to be answered about why the tire exploded.

The recent death of an auto shop employee from an exploding tire has raised questions and led to the launch of an investigation, reports Fox 4.

Last weekend, Rick Hanson was inflating a tire at the Firestone he worked at in Cape Coral, Florida, when it fatally exploded. 

According to a police report on the incident, an employee working alongside Hanson noticed that the tire was being overinflated, and cautioned him to stop. But for Bill Abouatallah, who has 40 years in the auto repair industry, it still didn’t add up.

“They say 200 PSI before a tire can blow up,” explained Abouatallah. “I don't know how you can get 200 PSI–most shops are 130 to 150 PSI on the air compressor.”

Abouatallah offered other explanations for what could have caused the explosion, such as the tire being old or dry rotted, but ultimately, he described the entire incident as strange.

Hanson was far from an irresponsible employee, having a reputation among customers for doing all he could to make them feel taken care of. The incident is currently under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to better understand what led to the tragedy.

“When you lose a dear friend, not just a business person but a friend that helped the community...unbelievable,” said customer Diane Shorb.

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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