Woman in car swallowed by sinkhole escapes through window

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CNN/WTAE) — A Pennsylvania woman had a very close call when a giant sink hole opened up and swallowed her car, but another woman was able to get her out of the car in the nick of time.

A simple trip to Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road ends with Natalie Huddleston literally on the edge.

“I walked out of the tanning salon,” said Huddleston. “I got in my car and started to back up, and I felt a ‘thump.’ And I was kind of sticking up in the air, kind of disoriented. Hit the gas, nothing happened. No contact with anything in the back wheels; they were spinning. And I felt a rocking motion, and I felt myself sinking.”

When she felt the car rocking, she called into Hollywood Tans to owner Lisa Masley for help.

“I ran out, and her car was literally like a seesaw in the sinkhole,” said Masley. “She put down the driver’s side window, and I pulled her out. And then within five minutes, the whole car was gone.”

These car owners watched for several hours as their car tinkered on the edge. Ross Township police say a 60-inch storm water management pipe collapsed.

“Obviously, with the storms today, we’ve had a significant amount of storm water runoff, and there are deteriorated pipes under the road in this section here,” said Det. Brian Kohlhepp.

First, it was the hole in front of Hollywood Tans. Then, it was a smaller hole just feet away. By the end of the night, it all caved in.

A tow driver was able to pull a car forward and safely tow it out of the way — a huge relief for these owners. But the second task is more tedious. It took a few hours to pump out the water and get Huddleston’s car out of the hole.

“What else can you do? My higher power was looking out for me, you know,” said Huddleston. “I got out safe; I don’t know how I’m going to get into work tomorrow, but ….”

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