Central Toledo roads closed after sinkhole swallows car

7/3/2013
BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER
This sinkhole swallowed up a car on N. Detroit Avenue.
This sinkhole swallowed up a car on N. Detroit Avenue.

A big sinkhole on N. Detroit Avenue swallowed a car and briefly trapped a motorist.
A big sinkhole on N. Detroit Avenue swallowed a car and briefly trapped a motorist.

The woman who was taken to a hospital after her car was swallowed by a sinkhole in central Toledo has been identified as Pamela Knox.

Ms. Knox, 60, of Toledo, was taken to Toledo Hospital to be checked out, officials said, however, she did not appear to be injured.

Police said Ms. Knox was driving southbound on North Detroit Avenue when her car fell into a large sinkhole near Bancroft Street.

Ms. Knox reportedly was able to climb out of the hole herself with the help of a ladder after being trapped for several minutes, officials said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sinkhole swallows car, driver in central Toledo

UPDATE: Some lanes re-open as crews make repairs after sinkhole

The sinkhole was reported at 12:15 p.m. The cause of the sinkhole was a collapse of combined sanitary and storm sewers, said city spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei.

Officials estimate the hole is deeper than 10 feet.

Roads surrounding the area were closed.

Mayor Mike Bell responded to the scene.

"I'm just happy that as I understand, she walked herself out [of the hole]," Mr. Bell said. "We had a lot of rain lately and something must have washed out under the road."

Crews are currently trying to get a crane in position to pull the car out, Sergeant Heffernan said.

He said the woman was not hurt, just shaken up. It was not immediately clear whether she was transported for observation.

The motorist whose car fell into the sinkhole is helped out.
The motorist whose car fell into the sinkhole is helped out.

"She saw the car in front of her starting to go [into the hole], and it managed to drive on, but she couldn't," Sergeant Heffernan said.

Mr. Bell said they were lucky the incident happened earlier in the day, before holiday traffic became heavy. It will take city crews about four or five days to repair the road, he said. 

City crews recovered the car shortly after 4 p.m.