Superior, WI (near), Automobile Explosion, June 1969

FIERY EXPLOSION RIPS CAR APART; 3 DIE, 3 INJURED.

Superior, Wis. (AP) -- State fire marshals were asked today to help determine what role firecrackers played in a fiery explosion that ripped apart a car Monday, killing three passengers and critically injuring three other persons.
Douglas County authorities said a can presumed to have contained gasoline was found with a large quantity of charred firecrackers in the burned wreckage of the 1959-model car on a highway about 15 miles south of Superior.
Sheriff Fred Johnson said five of the six victims were hurled from the car, one of them 42 feet.
All four doors were blown off, and the roof was found about 250 feet from the bulk of the wreckage.
Authorities said it was not immediately clear what triggered the blast as the car traveled along the rural highway. Among the initial theories, they said, was the possibility of a match or other burning object having ignited gasoline fumes.
Many of the firecrackers were described as thumb-size salutes and cherry bombs.
The victims were from Superior. There were no witnesses to the explosions, but authorities said farm residents reported having heard the blast over a large area.
Killed were:
PATRICK SHAUL, 18.
MICHAEL FOSNESS, 25.
EVA PEARSON, 3, daughter of GEORGIA PEARSON.
MRS. GEORGIA PEARSON, 24, her 4-year-old son, DONALD, and MISS LINDA DeMOUR,15, were taken to hospitals in Superior and nearby Duluth, Minn., where their conditions were listed today as serious to critical.

Sheboygan Press Ohio 1969-07-01

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