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Gary sinkhole rankles driver

SUV pothole 13th Avenue Broadway Gary Friday May 9 2014. | phoprovided

SUV in pothole at 13th Avenue and Broadway, Gary, Friday, May 9, 2014. | photo provided

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Updated: June 12, 2014 7:02AM



GARY — A sinkhole opened up Friday in the alley south of the Midtowne Centre strip mall in the 1300 block of Broadway trapping a Gary’s woman vehicle.

Angelene Strong, a security officer at Universal Protection in Blue Island, Ill., said she had just filled a prescription at Fagen Pharmacy when she began to drive south down the alley in her 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 when the pavement gave way underneath her.

“(The hole) was not there, and all of a sudden I just dropped and jerked. The whole thing just dropped. It’s crazy,” Strong said.

Tiger Towing of Chicago Heights, Ill., came to retrieve her vehicle but was unable to do so because the hole was so big and deep. Ultimately the vehicle was removed.

The Post-Tribune visited the site and measured the hole at approximately 3 feet by 6 feet in diameter and at least 28 inches deep. A large tree branch, 40-pound bag of dog food and other debris had been placed in the hole to warn other motorists not to use the alley. Motorists could be seen cutting through the parking lot to avoid the spot. There was no official marker warning motorists of the danger.

One woman, who did not identify herself, stopped and lamented the conditions of the city’s streets. She said the potholes throughout the city are so bad it is difficult to drive. She said street workers repaired potholes on one side of Harrison Street by the gas station, but left the other side, which is residential, untouched.

“It’s dangerous. They’ve got to do something about these potholes,” she said.

Strong said she called Gary police, and two officers responded, though she said they did not take a report or provide assistance.

“I was so scared when that thing went in there. It jarred me. My chest hit the steering wheel. … I’m in pain. It hit me hard,” Strong said.

Her vehicle was damaged and could not to be driven. Strong said she only has liability insurance so the damage to her vehicle is not covered.

“Who is going to be responsible for this? It wasn’t there. … I probably lost my vehicle,” she said.

It is unclear if the alley is a city-owned street or part of the parking lot. A spokesman from the city’s General Services office could not immediately be reached Saturday.



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