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Fixing Flat Tire Could Have Been a Real Blowout

September 13, 1987|Ted Thackrey Jr.

Howard Pennington says he's always been lucky.

Pennington, 54, needed something to prop up his car while he repaired a flat tire Thursday on a street in Pasadena. So he used a heavy box he found lying in bushes nearby. When he was done, he tossed it into the back seat of the car before driving to his home in the 100 block of Harriet Street in Altadena.

It was still in the seat when one of Pennington's friends, sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Williams, took a look at the box, opened it . . . and called for the bomb squad, which took charge of the contents and planned to detonate them while the neighborhood was temporarily evacuated.

"The stuff he used to prop up the car," Williams said, "was 30 sticks of dynamite, old and unstable, ready to go off at any minute. Howard's always said he was the luckiest man alive.

"And now I believe him."

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