12-foot sinkhole swallows man's car on Northside

Driver managed to get on top of car to be rescued, wasn't hurt

By Brittany Muller - Reporter, Roxy Tyler - Web producer, Ronnie Rodgers - Associate Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 12-foot-sinkhole swallowed a man's car as he was driving to work Saturday morning on Clyde Drive near Lem Turner Road.

JEA said the car was spinning around in circles in the sinkhole when they arrived at the scene.

The driver wasn't hurt, but was shaken up.

“Next thing I know I just heard something go 'bam,' and the car just went up and under and started spinning,” Tyrone Oakes said.

He said he climbed out of the driver’s seat and on top of his car until the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was able to pull him out of the hole. 

“I was sitting on top of my car. They handed me the lifeline long pole, told me to jump, when I jumped I didn’t feel the bottom,” he said.

Oakes said he didn't have time to be scared, he just acted quickly and got out of the car. He is doing OK. 

"The only thing (that) was on my mind, you know, (was) how can I get out of here?” Oakes said.

Oakes was soaking wet and wrapped in towels when we spoke to him. A neighbor brought him a jacket to wear.

“The guy was all wet. He only had a towel on him for cover, it was really thin, like, hospital blanket, so I went in my room and grabbed a jacket and gave it to him,” Immanuel Little said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it is unclear what caused the giant hole, but someone may have hit a fire hydrant. Police said at least one home in the area is flooded.

Workers have closed Clyde Drive between 13th Avenue and Ribault Avenue while they try to determine what caused the sinkhole and repair the road. 

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