Woman rescued 11 hours after car falls 40 feet into Florida sinkhole

HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. — A woman was rescued after spending 11 hours underground when her car fell 40 feet into a Florida sinkhole.

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The woman was driving with a man on private property around 8 p.m. Wednesday when they drove into the sinkhole, the High Springs Fire Department said.

Somehow they were both able to crawl out of the vehicle windows. However, only the man was able to scale the steep slope out of the sinkhole and get help.

Because of the location of the sinkhole, about a quarter-mile off Poe Springs Road, rescuers could only reach it on specialized four-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicles. Lt. Kevin Pearson was then able to rappel into the chasm, where he made contact with the woman. He secured her to a harness and rope system and she was lifted from the sinkhole around 7:21 a.m. She had no serious injuries.

This is not the first time firefighters have had to rescue someone from that sinkhole.

In September, the High Springs Fire Department and the Alachua County Fire Rescue rescued two ATV riders from it. Barriers were installed after the incident. However, the barriers appear to have been removed or destroyed, officials said.

Several “private property” and “no trespassing” signs still hang throughout the area.

High Springs police are also investigating.