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Sinkhole in NY driveway swallows woman parking her car: A crude welcome home

Long Island sinkhole swallows woman in her car as she was parking in her driveway.
Long Island sinkhole swallows woman in her car as she was parking in her driveway.

A Long Island woman and her car were sucked into a sinkhole that opened up in her driveway just as she was parking her car. Gayle Sorrentino said she was parking in the spot in her driveway where she normally parks and the next thing she knew, she was looking at a wall of dirt while sitting in a sinkhole, according to the New York Daily News on Feb. 23.

Sorrentino considers herself “lucky” and calls the experience “amazing” when the sinkhole just opened up and took her and the car down into the ground. Police and the firefighters arrived at her Rockville Center home and got the 69-year-old out of the car and then out of the sinkhole by using a ladder. She was unharmed during the incident.

After Sorrentino was on solid ground, the car was taken out of the sinkhole and the firefighters filled the hole in with dirt. After all that she reports that her car fared well as it is still in decent shape.

What caused the sinkhole in this Long Island neighborhood? Officials believe that the winter weather somehow caused an old and forgotten cesspool to open up. Neighbors are not in fear of sinkholes popping up when asked by the media. One neighbor said that an old cesspool started to sink the ground around it in her yard a while ago, but she had it filled in before it got any worse.

A lot of the homes on the street where Sorrentino lives are over 100 years old, so long forgotten cesspools or dry wells are probably in a few unknown locations throughout the neighborhood.