Car swallowed by sinkhole, woman escapes by ladder

Driver says the earth "just opened up"

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter
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TOLEDO, Ohio - A northwest Ohio sinkhole has swallowed a car traveling down a street and briefly trapped the driver, who climbed out after authorities gave her a ladder.

Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan says a water main break beneath the road may have caused the sinkhole Wednesday. The hole is estimated to be at least 10 feet deep.

Police say driver Pamela Knox didn't appear hurt but was shaken up and was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

"It wasn't like the car stopped when it started falling. It just kept falling and rolling down, falling and rolling down," said Knox.

Heffernan says Knox saw the vehicle in front of her start to slip into the hole but drive beyond it. He says Knox couldn't avoid it.

"The earth just opened up, and there was nothing I could do about it. I'm just thankful the Lord protected me," said Knox.

Officials used a crane to pull the car from the hole. Repairs to the road are expected to take days.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.