BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP – In the early-morning hours Tuesday, a Ford Taurus was headed north on Thomas Road in Burlington Township, when it encountered a stretch of road that had been washed away, near McDonald Road, Kane County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Pat Gengler said.
The Taurus happened upon a sinkhole, and Gengler said the vehicle, driven by Elgin resident Juanita Pineda, 41, ended up completely below the level of the road. Pineda and a passenger, her son, Benjamin Hernandez, 15, were trapped inside.
After that, Gengler said, a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Irvin Moreno, 25, of Maple Park, was headed south on the same stretch of road and ended up on top of the Taurus. Gengler described the sinkhole as 10 feet in diameter and deep.
The sinkhole appears to have been caused by the heavy rains that fell on Monday night, Gengler said. Thomas Road will be closed between Middleton and McDonald roads indefinitely because of the damage.
Fire personnel extricated the occupants of the Taurus, and Pineda and Hernandez were taken to local hospitals. Their condition was not available, but they were treated for injuries that apparently were not life-threatening, Gengler said. Moreno was treated at the scene and released, Gengler said. No tickets were issued. Police were dispatched to the scene at 3:50 a.m.
Gengler said the drivers appeared to be fortunate.
"When you see this, you are like, 'This is really, really bad,' " Gengler said, adding that "if one variable changed here or there, this could have been so much worse."
Gengler said it's a good example of the dangers of driving on flooded roadways. He said it is "a rural area, and there are no street lights."
"You don't know what's under that water," he said.