LOWELL, Vt. –
When you’re driving down the road – it’s safe to bet, the road will be there. Well, for one family, that was apparently just too much to assume.
There’s a massive sinkhole in Lowell, that swallowed an entire family.
Neighbors say the cars compared to the hole – looked like matchbox cars.
It was the husband’s quick thinking that likely kept the family alive.
Mines Road in Lowell is closed indefinitely, and for good reason – much of it isn’t even there anymore.
“That’s something that you don’t expect, the road is supposed to be there, you don’t expect it to disappear on you,” Ryan Sargent said.
But a family of three, Brian, Angel and Alex Richardson were driving home late Saturday night in two different cars and ended up at the bottom of the hole. Sargent is a good friend of the Richardson’s and saw them later that day. Other than bumps, bruises and one broken arm, everyone is ok.
“He was sore, he was just lucky, he was just happy that everybody was safe,” Sargent said.
Now when this happened it was late at night, so it was dark and it was raining heavily, but the sinkhole that swallowed the Richardson family is 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep. A neighbor told me that Mr. Richardson was able to think fast; when he saw his wife’s headlights disappear and swerved, in order to avoid crushing his wife and son.
Police think the plastic culvert that was in place couldn’t handle the flash flood and washed out the road. I learned that just this past October, the original, metal culvert that was 20 years old, collapsed and was replaced.
“It was crazy, that’s one thing you don’t expect when you’re driving down the road,” Sargent added.
Back at the house… dirt, broken glass — evidence from the terrifying night is literally pouring out of their smashed up cars. A memory they won’t soon forget.
The culvert will obviously need to be done again.
The state highway department is doing the investigation – and will likely be responsible for the majority of the project.
To prevent this from ever happening again, they’re looking at building a cement culvert.