JACKSON, Tenn. – A sinkhole opened up on a roadway Saturday on a Tennessee road, swallowing one passenger vehicle as it’s occupants fled to safety.
Three passengers made it out of the car just before it sank beneath the broken surface of Otha Holt Road between Milan and Medina in western Tennessee, Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas said.
“I’m just one of those people … I’m always thinking, what would I do if a situation happened?” driver Dinah Hufstedler, of Milan, said. “I’m an old woman and those ‘ifs’ have never happened, until today.”
Hufstedler was driving with her grandson and another boy when she saw the road ahead was covered by fast-moving water, so she and stopped.
“Before I had a chance to back up, my front tires went down,” Hufstedler said. “My car just sunk.”
She immediately checked to see if the windows would still roll down, and all three people climbed out of the car and got to solid ground. “The pavement was halfway up the windows” at that point, Hufstedler said.
Just after Hufstedler and the boys escaped, the sinkhole swallowed the vehicle.
“Less than a minute after we got out, the car sunk up to the back seats,” Hufstedler said.
The appears to be car is a total loss, but Hufstedler and the boys got out without a scratch.
Thomas said he believes the sinkhole was caused by recent heavy rains and flooding. He expects the road will be closed indefinitely.
Follow Cassandra Stephenson on Twitter: @CStephenson731.
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