Home / National News / Mother, Son Drive Into Sinkhole, Truck Drives Over Them


(ELGIN, Ill.) — A mother and son in Illinois’ Kane County are recovering physically and mentally Thursday after their car was swallowed by a sinkhole, with them still in it. But their situation would get even worse.

It all happened in seconds.

Juanita Pineda, 41, and her son Benjamin Hernandez, 15, were traveling on a dark road, delivering newspapers in rural Illinois a little before 4 a.m. Tuesday, when their Ford Taurus tumbled into a broad sinkhole.

“My foot was on the pedal and suddenly I was underground,” Juanita Pineda said.

After epic rains in June — double the average for the region — the road had finally given way, authorities said, creating a nearly 10-foot wide hole and trapping the pair.

Then, as Juanita Pineda talked to a 911 dispatcher on the phone, their situation took a turn for the worst as a pickup truck unknowingly drove over them.

When the driver stopped and turned around to find the car in the hole, Pineda can be heard on the 911 call asking for help for Hernandez.

It took 10 minutes for emergency crews to arrive and rescue the two from their car.

Hernandez was hospitalized but was expected to make a full recovery.

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