GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — Michael Wise, known as a “seasoned” tire mechanic at Neal Tindol Tire Shop in Opp, lost his life in a work-related accident Wednesday.
Hearing the news about the accident through texts and social media took the breath out of co-workers and Pastor Red Coleman who has been a friend of his for 20 years.
“It floored me as a pastor, I deal with people passing away quite often but it just hit me in the heart and the only thing I could text back to my friend is just wow,” Coleman said.
Wise was working on a tractor tire in the shop area and while hard at work the tire suddenly exploded in front of him.
According to the owner, the tire went through the ceiling of the shop — going as high as 20 feet.
When emergency services arrived, they found Wise dead in the shop area.
“Thats a difficult thing to be carrying out your normal duties in your workday and one minute you’re here and then you gone,” Coleman said. “I’ve seen Facebook videos before of people doing that and a tire blowing up but you expect that to happen to somebody else and not someone that you know so close.”
Coleman and Wise’s relationship goes back two decades ago when he says they met on the road to recovery after struggling with addiction to meth.
He says even during the worst time, Wise always made the best out of situations. His co-workers along with Coleman say he was a person who loved to smile, joke around, and had a contagious presence.
“I can’t tell you mike was my best friend but he was the kind of guy that was a best friend to a lot of people,” He added. “He was just an outgoing guy, loving guy and even if you was mad with him he would have you smiling pretty quick.”
Because the accident was work-related, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating.