LAS VEGAS -- A large sinkhole in the middle of a Las Vegas street sent one woman to the hospital and shut down water in nearby neighborhoods for several hours. The sinkhole opened at around 6pm Friday near Nellis and Desert Inn.
Officials say a 24 inch water line running under the intersection of Desert Inn and Nellis developed a leak. Workers were dispatched to the area. They turned the water off to fix it, but then realized they needed parts, so they turned the water back on. They called for a crew to come and shut down the lane. Before it could be shut down, however, a woman drove over the asphalt, and it gave way.
"I've never seen anything like this," said eyewitness Lisa Bryant. "It was incredible that something like that could have happened." The sinkhole slowly swallowed the car as people watched and waited for authorities to arrive. "The car was kind of high, and she was sinking about five minutes before the ambulance even got here," said eyewitness Jiggy Johnson. "When we drove up, we saw the paramedics here and actually bringing her out," Bryant said.
The woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Crews removed the car several hours later. Metro officers say they watched the sinkhole double in size, while they contained the scene.
Those who drive in the area say the accident shouldn't have happened in the first place. They say the section of road has always been a mess. "I always said when are they going to fix this, because it wasn't level," Bryant said. "I never thought it would cave in like that."
Eyewitness Sue Potter says her mother, who works as a crossing guard in the area, had her own accident on the street. "There's a lip in the road," Potter said. "She fell flat on her face, and broke her nose, and (received) a busted forehead."
Many believe work crews need to respond more quickly to avoid this from happening again. "If this could happen here, this could happen anywhere. They need to be on top of things," Potter said.
Water District officials shut down water for several hours to two nearby neighborhoods. The water was restored shortly after 10pm.