ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – Early this morning, the High Springs Fire Department and Alachua County Fire Rescued were dispatched to the area of 24304 NW 182nd Avenue for the report of a woman stuck in a sinkhole.
That call came in at 5:30 am. According to the victim and a witness, they were stuck in the hole since 8 pm last night.
“Upon arrival, firefighters found a female subject stuck roughly 40 feet below ground in a sinkhole filled with water,” the High Springs Fire Department said. “It is reported that the female, and her male friend, were out last night around 8 p.m. driving their car through the woods, roughly one-quarter mile off of Poe Springs Road, when they drove into the sinkhole.”
Miraculously, both subjects were eventually able to crawl out of the vehicle window on their own. The male subject was able to get out of the hole and call for help, but the female subject was not able to climb to the top of the steep slope.
Due to the location of the sinkhole, rescuers and their gear had to be shuttled by 4WD trucks and ATV’s to the scene. After careful planning and preparation, HSFD Lt. Kevin Pearson, repelled into the 40-foot sinkhole, where he was able to make contact with the subject and secure her to her own harness and rope system. She was removed from the hole around 7:21 AM, with no serious injury after nearly 11 hours below ground.
HSFD said the location of the sinkhole is the same hole that High Springs Fire Department and Alachua County Fire Rescue personnel rescued new ATV riders from in September. High Springs Police Department will continue to investigate the incident.