Sinkhole swallows Plant City woman as she pulls weeds in her yard

5:55 PM, May 5, 2010   |    comments
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Plant City, Florida - Imagine being outside, doing a little gardening one minute, then inside a 10-foot deep hole the next. A Plant City woman claims it happened to her.

Carla Davis-Chapman calls it the scariest experience of her life.

"There was no warning.  The ground just gave way," she explained.

Photo Gallery: Sinkhole swallows weeding woman

As she pulled out a few weeds, Davis-Chapman grabbed what turned out to be the wrong one. Within seconds, she found herself in a 10-foot hole, surrounded by water and mud.

"Just scrambling to try to get out and the more you try to get out, the further down you go," she said.

Davis-Chapman told 10 Connects she stayed in that hole for two hours, screaming for help, until a neighbor finally found her.

"There aren't even words to say what it's like.  Scary doesn't do it justice," she said.

Davis-Chapman says engineers sent by her insurance company were just at her house three weeks ago.  She claims they assured her the property was safe from sinkholes.

"Told me my ceilings weren't going to fall in, the ground wasn't going to open," she said.

In a statement to 10 Connects, Matt Cain from MCD Engineers said, "We were at the house a few weeks ago.  We are in the process of evaluating the claim, but because we're bound by confidentiality, I can not release any more information."

Davis-Chapman says she's now afraid to walk through her yard, scared of what she may slip into with her next step.

"This could have turned out a lot worse than it was," she said.

Her insurance company says it will work with her to see what damages might be covered.

Adam Freeman, 10 Connects

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