San Antonio Sinkhole Claims Life of Sheriff’s Deputy
In San Antonio, a massive sinkhole opened up late Sunday and claimed the life of a 69-year-old part-time Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy named Dora Linda Nishihara. According to reports, Deputy Nishihara was driving down a San Antonio road Sunday night when the San Antonio sinkhole opened up and caused her car to fall into it. The water rushing into turned her car into what some officials described as “a watery grave.”
Apparently, the sinkhole appeared after a sewer line ruptured during a heavy rainstorm earlier Sunday. It took some time for officials with the San Antonio Water System to figure out how to stop the flow of the sewer line enough to allow emergency crews to get through. When first responders finally arrived, a crane was used to retrieve Nishihara’s car, which was under 12 feet of water. Her body was inside the vehicle. According to reports, there were at least four other sewer spill overflows on Sunday, but this was the only one that created a sinkhole.
In addition to Deputy Nishihara’s vehicle, two other cars were swallowed up by the sinkhole. A 60-year-old man, who was unidentified, was rescued unharmed, but the woman who rescued him sustained relatively minor injuries. Both were transported to a local hospital, where they were described as “in good shape.”
A sinkhole basically occurs when a void appears under the ground and the top layer of ground collapses to fill it. The type of sinkhole that occurred on Quintana Road Sunday is called a cover-collapse sinkhole, which tend to occur in clay, which is what holds soil together. In this case, the sewer break caused the soil under the road to wash out causing a “bridge” of sorts, which collapsed, creating the depression in the ground into which the vehicles fell.
The people who were victims of this sinkhole and their families deserve a lot of answers, which means there should be a complete investigation of all of the circumstances regarding how this occurred. In many cases, insurance companies try to label all sinkholes as “natural disasters” and will try to avoid paying. Even after the sinkhole is repaired, it will be important for engineers and others to inspect the area and make sure it doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, it’s important for the loved ones of these victims to have representation, to make sure that all negligent parties are identified and that all of their expenses are paid for.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed an accident that you believe may have been caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact the Auto Accident Injury Attorney at the Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, so that we can investigate the situation and make sure your interests are represented. We have the experience and the knowledge to make sure your rights are fully protected.