SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A deputy sheriff in Texas was killed in a freak accident when a water-filled sinkhole opened up on a road on San Antonio, swallowing her car and another vehicle.
Deputy Dora Linda Nishihara, 69, died after her car plunged into the sinkhole late Sunday and landed on its roof in the pool of water below. The vehicle was quickly submerged as water rushed over it from a broken sewer pipe nearby, authorities said.
A second vehicle also tumbled into the sinkhole but landed facing upwards and two passersby managed to pull the 60-year-old driver out to safety. He and one of his rescuers were hospitalized.
It took rescue crews until the following afternoon to recover Nishihara’s body.
“This was a challenging recovery for us,” San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood told WOAI-TV. “We suffered a few collapses that widened the sinkhole, and our technical rescue team firefighters were exposed to raw sewage at a fast, flowing rate, as well as very cold water.”
Nishihara had worked as a reserve deputy for Bexar County Sheriff’s Department from August 2009 until October 2016, the department said. Since then, she worked as a part-time deputy at the Bexar County Courthouse.
“We are assisting her family as they deal with this tragedy,” the department said. “We are heartbroken.”