AKRON (March 5, 2002)–Independent tire testing laboratory Smithers Scientific Services Inc. is conducting an internal investigation to determine what caused a tire being tested to explode and kill 20-year-old Todd Harris on March 2.
The probe is expected to take between 30 and 60 days to complete. Mr. Harris was working at a road wheel machine at Smithers' Tire and Automotive Testing facility in Ravenna, Ohio, at 4:20 p.m. when a tire apparently exploded, severely injuring him, according to an official at the Cuyahoga County coroner's office. The laboratory technician suffered “injuries to his head, trunk and extremities, along with internal injuries, caused by the blunt impact of the tire striking him,” the spokesman said.
Mr. Harris was taken immediately to Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, then air-lifted to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he died at about 8 p.m., a company spokesman said.
Mr. Harris had been employed at Smithers for almost a year and had recently graduated from a culinary arts school.