Giant sinkhole in California swallows vehicle after driver ignores road closure signs

‘It happened again. We can’t make this stuff up’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 01 February 2023 09:26 GMT
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Related: Horse pulled out of sinkhole by firefighters after getting stuck underground

A truck fell into a sinkhole in Tracy, California, after ignoring road closure signs, just two days after another vehicle faced a similar situation.

The two-lane road in the Central Valley had collapsed earlier in January after a series of destructive storms that wreaked havoc and compromised the retention pond leading to the road's erosion.

Sinkholes are created by erosion and the drainage of water and vary in size, from a few feet to large enough to swallow whole buildings.

Despite warning signs of the road's closure and the hole in the middle of the lane, drivers continued to attempt to travel the Kasson Road.

"It happened again. We can’t make this stuff up," the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said, sharing pictures of a four-door truck stuck inside the sinkhole.

"This was 100 per cent preventable. There is no excuse. The signs are clear, visible, and unobstructed.”

The CHP warned against bypassing "road closed" signs and barricades, which it said were "strategically placed for your safety".

"DO NOT drive past a road closure. If you come across a road closure, turn around, and find a different route."

The driver was issued a citation for ignoring the road closure, the patrol department said.

Netomie Cardoza, who lives in the San Joaquin River Club next to the accident site, said that they heard “this big crunch sound” when the truck fell.

“We look out the window and, ‘uh oh,’ it’s another,” she told CBS Sacramento. “I don’t know. It’s ridiculous because it’s a big giant barrier, and they were going around it.”

Prior to the truck, a Volkswagen sedan fell into the same sinkhole after the driver bypassed the warning signs.

“We’re at a loss for words. If only there were signs and/or barriers that could have prevented this,” the patrol office had shared on Facebook.

“There are concrete rails across the roadway. It takes a little bit of effort to maneuver around it to get past it,” Jesse Skinner, a CHP public information officer, was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

“It’s not a closure we’ve had set up in that area before,” the officer added. “We don’t have an officer that can man the closure the whole time.”

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