Sinkholes have now reached the point of the ridiculous. There’s absolutely no place on this earth where you are completely safe from them. Just ask San Juanita Pineada and her 15 year-old son, Benjamin. The Kane County, Illinois, woman and her teenage were injured when their Ford Taurus nose-dived into a 10-ft diameter sinkhole as they were driving on a rural county road early Tuesday morning.
The massive hole, which was wider than the entire two-lane road, completely swallowed their Taurus.
And, as if driving into a sinkhole is not enough excitement for one night, as they sat in their car at the bottom of the sinkhole waiting rescue, a pickup truck, driven by Irvin Moreno, literally drove right over them.
Pineda, who works as a carrier delivering the Daily Herald, said she and her son were working about 3:45 a.m. when they suddenly found themselves sitting below ground, trapped in their vehicle. They had just left a newspaper in a mailbox and were on their way to deliver their fourth newspaper of the day. Pineda was driving about 15 mph, when suddenly they found themselves at the bottom of the sinkhole with the air bags deployed.
"It was dark, it was pitch black, and all of a sudden I'm in the hole," Pineda said. "The impact was pretty hard. My car turned off completely. I had no emergency lights."
When Pineda was finally able to find her cellphone, she called 911.
"While I was talking to 911, this truck flies over me," she said. "About three or four minutes later, (the driver of the truck) walks up to the hole. He asked if anybody was in the car."
Fire personnel were able to pull Pineda out fairly quickly, but it took about 90 minutes to free her son as they had to remove the roof to get to him.
Benjamin suffered a spinal fracture, a broken rib, and a broken jaw. He also lost some teeth in the crash. He is listed in fair condition in intensive care at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Pineda said she's having chest and back pains, and Moreno, 25, was treated and released at the scene.