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"IT'S BIZARRE": Friends, auto experts discuss deadly Cape Coral tire explosion

Police say the victim over-inflated the tire when it exploded, killing him.
Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 26, 2024

CAPE CORAL. FLA. — On Wednesday, auto shop experts like Bill Abouatallah were still working to make sense of the deadly tire explosion that killed Rick Hanson at Firestone in Cape Coral over the weekend.

“It is bizarre, I have been in the business 40 years,” said Abouatallah.

Cape Coral Police said Hanson was involved in filling up a tire on Sunday afternoon when it exploded and killed him.

The police report said an employee was working with Hanson and noticed the tire was being over-inflated, warning him of the issue before it exploded.

Abouatallah said there are a lot of questions that remain.

“Is the tire old, it's dry rotted, you are putting in a lot of air…they say 200 PSI before a tire can blow up," he said. "I don't know how you can get 200 PSI — most shops are 130 to 150 PSI on the air compressor,” said Abouatallah.

People like Diane Shorb say they knew Hanson for many years.

“So I went there (Firestone) and I began to know him as not even a business manager, but a personal friend,” said Shorb.

Shorb said Hanson went above and beyond the duties of his job, making everyone feel welcome.

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

OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is investigating and is working to make sense of this unbelievable accident.

“Ya we need to know why,” said Abouatallah.