SHERIDAN, Colo. – The woman whose vehicle was swallowed up by a sinkhole that formed Tuesday during heavy rain in Sheridan says she has a “guardian angel” to thank for pulling her out of the vehicle before more than 10 feet into the hole.
West Oxford Avenue reopened one lane each in both directions Thursday morning near Santa Fe Drive after working through the day Wednesday to repair the massive sinkhole after Ashley Marisch’s car was dug out in the morning.
Marisch, 28, told Denver7 she was driving east on Oxford Ave. Tuesday evening when her car began to sink into the road. She told Denver7 Wednesday that a man had helped her get out of the car before police arrived and before it fell all the way in.
“I am feeling very overwhelmed and still in shock, but most of all I feel blessed and am thankful I had a guardian angel there to help me get out of the car,” Marisch said. “I hope he knows how grateful I am that he was there to help me.”
Neither Marisch nor police have so far been able to figure out who the man is who helped her out of her vehicle.
Sheridan Police Sgt. Greg Miller, who himself saw his squad car disappear into a sinkhole on the same street three years ago, said if Marisch hadn’t gotten out when she did that she might not have survived.
“She was able to get out of this car before that car went down. And today, the difference is that that water was so high in that sinkhole that once her car went down, the car was already submerging and the water was rising pretty good,” said Miller. “I don’t really see how we could have done anything to get a person out of that.”
The city of Englewood released a statement Wednesday saying it was relieved no one was injured after the sinkhole opened and that the city's contractor, American Civil Constructors, is working to determine what caused the pipes underneath the road the fail.
"We do know that the storm on July 24 can be characterized as a 100-year event. During the storm, an estimated 2.5 inches of rain fell in 30 minutes, which caused the pipe to pressurize at over 25 psi. The pipe was not designed for this pressure," city spokesperson Alison Carney said in a statement. "The City is committed to the safety of its community and is dedicated to providing measures to ensure that safety."
Denver7's Lance Hernandez contributed to this report.