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Truck falls into sink hole in Clayton

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CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) – It was a scary surprise for a truck driver in Clayton, around lunch time Tuesday.

The crosswalk at Central Avenue near Maryland Avenue opened up with no warning and down went the truck.

Truck driver, Rich Leesman, was hauling about 12 tons material from a basement dig at a new home site.  He couldn’t make it through the crosswalk.

“’Boom, it went down… (I) stopped at the stoplight … getting ready to make a right and the truck fell in a hole,” Leesmann laughed.

“There was no way to know,” said Clayton Assistant Public Works Director, John Wulf.

It was stunner:  a hole full of water where the ground and pavement ought to be.

The hole was about 12 feet deep, Leesmann said.  It took two tow trucks to get him out; one to lift the truck, the other to pull it back from the hole.

It all appeared to have stemmed from both a Missouri American Water main break and a Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District main break in the same spot under the pavement, Wulf said.

“It didn’t appear to be a typical main break.  We suspect there’s probably a hole in one of MSD’s sewer lines that is taking the water, which caused it not to be bubble up like they normally do and didn’t give us any evidence that there was anything wrong,” Wulf said.  “Basically that water scoured out the soil and the rock that was there … when that truck came along it just dropped right through.”

The truck had visible bumper and tire damage and will need a front end inspection to see if there's anything more.  Wulf hoped Missouri American Water and MSD would have the lines repaired as early as Wednesday.