TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Shaler woman escapes from car in sinkhole along McKnight Road

Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media - A car swallowed by a massive sinkhole is visible again at Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road in Ross Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media</em></div>A car swallowed by a massive sinkhole is visible again at Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road in Ross Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014
- Photo submitted by a Ross resident of a sinkhole in the parking lot of Hollywood Tans that closed part of McKnight road on August 12, 2014.
Photo submitted by a Ross resident of a sinkhole in the parking lot of Hollywood Tans that closed part of McKnight road on August 12, 2014.
Kelsey Shea | Tribune-Review - A sinkhole in the parking lot of Hollywood Tans closed part of McKnight road on August 12, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Kelsey Shea | Tribune-Review</em></div>A sinkhole in the parking lot of Hollywood Tans closed part of McKnight road on August 12, 2014.
Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media - A Peoples Gas crew works to shut off the utility after a massive sinkhole swallowed a car at Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road in Ross Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. A driver was pulled from her car in the hole and southbound lanes of the busy road remain closed.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media</em></div>A Peoples Gas crew works to shut off the utility after a massive sinkhole swallowed a car at Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road in Ross Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. A driver was pulled from her car in the hole and southbound lanes of the busy road remain closed.
Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media - Utility crews and first responders scramble as they work to shut off utilities after a massive sinkhole swallowed a car at Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road in Ross Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. The driver had to be pulled from her car in the hole that is being blamed on storm drainoff.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media</em></div>Utility crews and first responders scramble as they work to shut off utilities after a massive sinkhole swallowed a car at Hollywood Tans on McKnight Road in Ross Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. The driver had to be pulled from her car in the hole that is being blamed on storm drainoff.

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
 

Natalie Huddleston backed her car away from the Hollywood Tans store on McKnight Road on Tuesday afternoon, heard a “thunk” and soon felt her car sink backward, the front sticking out of a hole opening in the parking lot.

“It was disappearing into this hole,” said Huddleston of Shaler. She called the store, and someone helped her climb out the car window to safety, but her 2002 Saturn was gone in five minutes, she said. She had just finished a tanning appointment about 4:30 p.m. at the business in the 7500 block of McKnight Road in Ross.

“We sat and watched my car sink deeper and deeper,” said Huddleston, who works at Allegheny Valley School.

Huddleston's car was swallowed in a sinkhole caused by the apparent collapse of an active but older and deteriorating storm drain, Ross police Detective Brian Kohlhepp said. He said the line was 48 inches or 60 inches in diameter.

Authorities temporarily closed the road southbound between Browns Lane and Ross Park Mall Drive, but two of the three lanes reopened by early evening. Northbound lanes remained open.

The Midas store and BJ Nail and Spa were evacuated, and the utilities to all three businesses were shut off as a precaution.

Another vehicle near the sinkhole was towed out of danger, and crews pumped the water out and removed Huddleston's car.

The area contains an underground stream, and developers built pipes to contain the water, Ross police said.

Kohlhepp said he had never seen a sinkhole caused by a deteriorating stormwater pipe.

“It's fortunate that this wasn't under McKnight Road,” Ross Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer said. “That would have been a disaster for the business district.”

Shaffer said the stream is called McKnight Run and that it flows into Girty's Run.

Kohlhepp said township officials had been in discussions with property owners about the deteriorating pipes.

“It's a private property issue, not government maintained,” Kohlhepp said.

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Staff writer Michael Hasch contributed to this report.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Mother, baby found dead in Millvale apartment
  2. 2 found dead in Harrison home
  3. Steelers sign former ACC Player of the Year Boyd for QB depth
  4. Polamalu could be next in long line of Steelers greats given unceremonial exit
  5. Route 422 closed after serious accident in Kittanning Township
  6. Allegheny County Controller candidates quarrel 2 days before Dem endorsement vote
  7. Pitt star running back Conner likes to give back, savors charity work
  8. Accident near Highland Park Bridge backs up Route 28 traffic
  9. Pirates pitcher Locke fighting for 5th spot in starting rotation
  10. Wolf reverses Corbett, says deal between Highmark, UPMC doesn’t limit continuity of care to very ill
  11. Legal opinion clears way for Pa. distributors to sell beer 12-packs