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Large Sinkhole Opens Up In Downtown Lynn

LYNN (CBS) – It was an accident waiting to happen to create a seven-foot-deep sinkhole at the corner of Common and Shepard streets in Lynn.

Lynn Sinkhole
A sinkhole in downtown Lynn. (Photo Credit: Travis Alpert)

When a woman drove right over the vulnerable spot, an accident was narrowly averted.

"I just saw a Honda Civic go right over it, and it caved in right after that," said witness Connor Holland.

Gabriel Valerio was also nearby and watched it happen.

"She just passed by, and the whole thing collapsed. She was so lucky," he said.

City officials say a sewer line broke, filling up with dirt and debris, and creating an enormous cavity nobody could have seen beneath the surface.

"It was big enough and void enough that someone going over it caused it to finally collapse," said Mike Biasetti, a foreman with the city's Water and Sewer Commission.

The city says they are aging sewer lines, and no one knows how long this one was broken before it gave way.

Goldean Graham drives over the spot every morning with her children and was left to wonder: what if that had been us?

"It leaves me breathless. I'm thankful someone was looking (out) for us this morning for sure."

Crews marked utilities as a high-pressure gas line sits in the hole.

There was no disruption in service, but neighbors hope it's a wake-up call.

"They have to look at it just in case to prevent another situation," Valiero says.

Curiosity seekers took pictures, but in the end it was fortunate no one was hurt.

"I would say she was pretty lucky to get over that hole," Biasetti said.

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