Woman: Plunging into sinkhole in Harris County was like 'quicksand'

Print
Email
|

by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 12:03 PM

HOUSTON -- Plunging into a sinkhole has left a woman reliving a nightmare nearly 18 months after it happened.

“It’s horrible just to think about it,” said Terrie Vernon, who survived the accident that took place in a neighbor’s backyard in northwest Harris County.

Vernon said there was a water leak that morning and a group of neighbors came outside to investigate.

“We called the water company numerous times,” she said.

Vernon said no one ever responded, not even when they called to report the water appeared to be bubbling up.

“Everything was grass,” said Vernon. “There were bubbles, but it was grass.”

But what looked like grass turned out to be an 8-by-10-foot sinkhole.

“It was like I stepped off the roof,” said Vernon. “Instantly, I went to my shoulders and I was being sucked down. It was like quicksand at the bottom.”

Vernon’s neighbor managed to pull her out.

Vernon suffered injuries to her shoulder, neck and knee.

An attorney has filed a lawsuit accusing Southwest Water Company of negligence for failing to warn Vernon and her neighbors of the potential threat of a sinkhole.

“Clearly this was an emergency situation,” said attorney Jason Gibson. “They got multiple phone calls from neighbors and from my client, and they basically said call the plumber.”

Citing the pending litigation, a water company spokesperson refused to comment on the case.

But Vernon can’t help but remember “being buried alive is just awful."

Print
Email
|