San Diego

Uber Driver's Ride Ends in Lakeside Sinkhole

The crash happened on Pecan Park Lane at Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside Tuesday morning, while the Uber driver was giving a ride to customers

A large sinkhole snagged a car Tuesday in Lakeside, California. As the vehicle began to flood, the driver called his wife, telling her the water was starting to cover his feet.

"When the car was going down, he was like, 'The water is covering our feet, so we gotta climb out of the window,'" the driver's wife, Tasha Mills, recounted. "I knew it was pretty bad."

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers said the crash happened at around 5 a.m. on Pecan Park Lane at Olde Highway 80 in the community east of downtown San Diego. 

"There was some water on the road," said Kevin Pearlstein, public information officer for the California Highway Patrol, El Cajon. "The gentleman was slowly driving through the water, as he drove through the water it actually turned into a sinkhole and his front tires went into it.”

The driver, who works for Uber, had just picked up a client when his car landed in a sinkhole that appeared to be twice as big as his vehicle. The driver's side of the car wound up wedged inside the sinkhole.

Mills said her husband called her to tell her what happened moments after the crash. She told NBC 7 the call jolted her awake.

"I got a call from my husband that his car was going down in a sinkhole," she explained. "It scared us pretty bad, so we rushed out here."

Officer Pearlstein added the two in the car were unharmed because the driver was going slow at the time. He also added there are no streetlights on the road and it was hard to see at the time.

Fortunately, the driver and passenger escaped without injury. Mills said her husband complained of back pain, but she's grateful he wasn't seriously hurt in the crash.

"I'm just glad that he's alive -- that he's okay," she added.

Mills said her husband's second job is working as an Uber driver and, when she saw their car in that sinkhole, her heart also sank.

"[I was thinking] our second income is gone -- for now. But I was just thinking thank God he's okay," she said. "My first thought was, 'Thank God that they're okay,' because that could've been much worse."

San Diego County officials were called out to the scene to investigate if the sinkhole was the result of a broken water main pipe on Pecan Park Lane.

The water main break is under Padre Dam's service, Melissa McChesney, communications officer with the Padre Dam Municipal Water District confirmed.

As of 8:45 a.m., McChesney said about five customers in the area were without water service due to the main break. Crews were at the scene making repairs and Padre Dam expected to have service restored by midday.

The road remained closed throughout the day.

McChesney said repairs were expected to be completed and the road reopened by midnight.

Contact Us