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Teen nearly drowns when sidewalk collapses, woman says

Published: Monday, October 19, 2015 @ 3:15 PM
Updated: Monday, October 19, 2015 @ 8:48 PM
By: WFTV - Orlando

A Florida woman said her special-needs son nearly drowned Monday morning when the ground opened up beneath the sidewalk as he walked to his Orange County school bus.

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Lecear Garcia said her 17-year-old son, who is nearly 6 feet tall, went underwater when he fell into the hole.

"My son just dropped. He fell in a hole and went all the way completely down," Garcia said.

She said that when she pulled her son from the water, he was soaked.

"I know he swallowed water because he was underneath," she said.

Garcia said there was no indication that there was a problem with the ground as she walked with her son to the bus.

The management at the complex where Garcia lives sent an email warning residents of a water main break just after midnight Monday, Garcia said. But she said there were no warnings of possible hazards on the grounds of the complex.

"No sign, no warning, no nothing to let us know, us tenants, that there was a sinkhole right there," she said.

After the incident with Garcia's son, complex managers sent an email warning residents of the hole.

"I almost lost my son," Garcia said. "I thank God he is alive. That's the most important thing. It could have been anybody's child. It could have been anybody this morning."

A complex employee told WFTV that she had no comment on the story.

Garcia said her son was being treated at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.