Driver trapped after van ends up in hole nearly 15 feet deep - KCTV5

Driver trapped after van ends up in hole nearly 15 feet deep

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The driver was trapped inside the van after it went into the deep hole. (KCTV/Nathan Vickers) The driver was trapped inside the van after it went into the deep hole. (KCTV/Nathan Vickers)
The water department came out later in the day, after the car had been pulled out, to cover the hole. (KCTV/Nathan Vickers) The water department came out later in the day, after the car had been pulled out, to cover the hole. (KCTV/Nathan Vickers)
A city tow truck was called to pull the van out. (KCTV/Nathan Vickers) A city tow truck was called to pull the van out. (KCTV/Nathan Vickers)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

On Saturday, a van ended up in a hole nearly 15 feet deep that had been covered with plywood.

A man visiting relatives in the area of 3530 Morrell Ave. didn't know the hole was there, drove over the plywood, and fell through.

Neighbors say barriers around the covered hole had blown over, so the driver didn't see them. 

The driver was trapped inside for about 30 minutes, but was not injured. His cousin, Betty Aguilar, said that he was sore and still a little scared.

"The front wheels went by fine, but then the back wheels went down and he went down," she explained.

A water department dispatcher said that a city tow truck was called to remove the van.

Later in the day, after the car had been removed, the water department crews came to cover up the hole with two steel plates. They had to push the plates over the pavement to reach the pit. They also added several barricades. 

A spokesperson said that workers initially used plywood because they couldn't easily get the steel plates through the alley.

People who live in the area say the hole was there for several days. 

"I thought it was someone digging this hole some more," neighbor Bob Blanck said. "They were here last week when they started it. I went to see how they were coming along, so I went out and I saw the car sticking out of the ground. I knew someone had fallen through the plywood. I was rather surprised."

Blanck noticed the hole last Saturday, when the Kansas City water department began working on sewer lines under the alley. 

"It's worried me all week, actually," Blanck said. "What if a kid fell through the cracks or something? It's a very deep hole. It's very dangerous, and luckily we avoided a tragedy."

Blanck and others on the street wish the hold had been covered more securely from the beginning.

On the weekend, all 311 calls are automatically directed to the water department dispatcher.

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