For the second time in two weeks, a sinkhole in a collapsed road in California has swallowed a vehicle after a driver ignored road closure signs, according to law enforcement.
The two-lane road near Tracy, a city in the Central valley, collapsed earlier this month following weeks of destructive storms that wreaked havoc across the state. The damage and signs warning of the road’s closure didn’t stop drivers from attempting to traverse Kasson Road, which commuters use to travel to nearby Stockton, Manteca and Modesto, according to the local California highway patrol (CHP) office.
“There are concrete rails across the roadway. It takes a little bit of effort to maneuver around it to get past it,” said Jesse Skinner, a CHP public information officer.
Still, the office is aware of at least two vehicles whose drivers got them stuck in the collapsed roadway. Over the weekend a truck fell into the hole, prompting police to issue a citation to the driver for traveling on the closed road.
Authorities appear to be growing increasingly exasperated over motorists’ disregard for the warnings. “It happened again. We can’t make this stuff up,” the CHP office wrote on Facebook. “This was 100 percent preventable. There is no excuse. The signs are clear, visible, and unobstructed.”
Days before that the driver of a Volkswagen sedan tried to drive down the closed road and also ended up in the hole. “We’re at a loss for words. If only there were signs and/or barriers that could have prevented this,” the office wrote, then pointing out that there were in fact signs.
Shortly after the road first closed but before it split and sunk, a different car had ignored the signs and driven through the closure.
The office has published information about alternate routes, but has continued to respond to calls about drivers who ignored warnings. Recent storms hit the area hard, closing some roads for the first time, including Kasson Road.
“It’s not a closure we’ve had set up in that area before,” Skinner said. “We don’t have an officer that can man the closure the whole time.”