Broken Bead

The other day my wife drove on a flat tire – not far – maybe 1/4 mile. The service station aired it up and she continued on her way. The next morning the tire was flat. When trying to put the spare on, I had some difficulty getting the wheel off of the drum. I used my father’s trick of spinning the tire and hitting the tire – not the rim – with a heavy blunt bar. Worked like a charm. However, the tire is now leaking from the rim. Two questions: 1) Who is to blame for the broken bead? Me or my wife? 2) Can the bead be repaired? One shop was unable to seal the tire and offered to sell me a new tire.

Does it matter WHO accidentally broke(kinked)the bead? Just have the wheel carefully inspected for cracks and bends when the tire is replaced. But maybe the Tappet Brothers would enjoy your question on their show. Call them, I’ll be listening.

While I believe that the broken bead is the result of your wife driving on it, rather than you hitting the tire, the broken bead is not ultimately the real issue.
In reality, the issue is the overall condition of that tire.

If your wife really drove 1/4 of a mile on a flat tire, the internal cord damage in the tire’s sidewalls is such that the tire is not safe to use. You would need to buy a new tire even if the bead had not been damaged.

And give the wheel a good examination, too - it could also be damaged.

Agreed. You don’t drive on a flat and expect to fix it, let alone wondering about the bead.
Replace it.

Driving on flat means do not trust the tire. Sorry but too many things could have happened. The rim could be toast, the tire damaged, or maybe it just needs a remount with a sealer. However if there is sidewall damage you can’t see how are you going to feel if a blowout kill or injures someone.