It’s like getting struck by lightning. Statistically, the odds that it will happen to you are so small they’re almost negligible.
But one woman found out on Wednesday, while driving home from doing errands, that a massive sinkhole can actually swallow you and your car whole with almost no warning whatsoever.
60-year-old Pamela Knox says she was on her way home Wednesday in Toledo, Ohio when the pavement suddenly gave way and her car fell into a hole estimated to be at least 10 feet deep.
“I was calling on the name of Jesus and all I could do was say, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,’ and I kept saying it over and over and over again,” she told The Blade newspaper. “I know that’s what kept me safe, was just calling on the power of the Lord.”
She said she feared she would die as water from a broken pipe poured into the hole and the back seat of her car.
“It was very scary. I didn’t want to keep looking at it [the water] because it made it worse,” she remarked. “I stayed face-forward, but it was filling up that back seat.”
Here are some stunning images from the scene:
Knox was briefly trapped, unable to escape, but managed to climb out using a ladder with help from a firefighter.
An elementary school principal, she was examined by medical professionals as a precaution but wasn’t seriously hurt.
Still, she thinks she’ll likely avoid the scene of the sinkhole for a while.
“At this point, I’m just resting. I’m not trying to go anywhere,” she said.
So what caused the rare and rapid opening in the ground?
A spokeswoman for a northwest Ohio city attributed the sinkhole to the collapse of brick sewers beneath a road.
“I’m just happy that, as I understand, [Knox] walked herself out [of the hole],” Toledo Mayor Mike Bell said. “We had a lot of rain lately and something must have washed out under the road,” Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, told the Blade.
WTVG has video of the rescue:
And the Associated Press has raw video of the vehicle being removed later with a crane:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.