Williamsburg, NY – What should have been a routine errand for his boss turned out to be a harrowing experience for an employee at a Bedford-Stuyvestant auto body shop who found himself trapped in a sinkhole that opened up beneath his feet as he crossed a local street.
Kings County Auto Body employee Steven Suarz had taken a tire with a faulty sensor to a nearby shop for repair and was crossing the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Walworth Street just south of Williamsburg when the ground suddenly opened up beneath him just after 11 AM this morning.
“All of a sudden, a hole opened up the size of his leg in the street and his right leg ends up in a hole in the ground,” Kings County Auto Body owner Heshy Grunbaum told VIN News.
“He fell all the way in and was just sitting there and people thought there was a guy with no legs in the middle of the street. We got a call here that Steven was trapped in a sinkhole and everyone went crazy.”
Suarez was unable to extricate himself from the hole and rescue workers raced to the scene, cordoning off the area where the incident occurred. Firefighters were able to pull Suarez out of the sinkhole and he was then transported to Woodhull Hospital.
Suarez’s father was a long time employee of Kings County Auto body, working for the shop for more than three decades.
Grunbaum said that Steven Suarez, who has been with his business for more than five years, is lucky to have escaped the incident with relatively minor injuries.
“It is completely empty under there,” said Grunbaum. “It’s a good thing he didn’t end up even further into that hole or it could have been a lot worse.”
After being released from the hospital on crutches, Suarez told ABC News (http://7ny.tv/2gohrft) that doctors had taken x-rays and prescribed pain killers to relieve the aches in his knee, hip, ankle, tailbone and lower back.
Suarez described the experience as scary.
“It was pretty creepy down there,” said Suarez. “I just wanted to get out.”
The cause of the sinkhole has yet to be determined. The New York City Department of Transportation did not return requests for comment on the incident.