Metro man thankful to be alive after truck drops into massive sinkhole in Excelsior Springs

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EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. -- After his truck was swallowed by a massive sink hole,  an Excelsior Springs driver is grateful to be alive and that no one else got hurt.

Lance Shoemaker instantly became trapped in his truck Tuesday night when his car fell into a nearly 6-foot sink hole in a business' parking lot along Jesse James Road in Excelsior Springs.

"I just remember the truck wiggling a little bit and then bam -- I was in the bottom of the hole," Shoemaker said.

Photo courtesy Excelsior Springs Police Department

He was driving home Tuesday night when he pulled off the road to answer a call and then suddenly dropped several feet into the crumbling hole beneath him.

"When I was down there, another piece of concrete broke off and landed on the cab and fender," he said. "If it wasn't for that, the support of those two, it would have crushed me."

The city's public works director said the hole was caused by a 54-inch storm drain pipe that slowly eroded over time. The city said the parking lot where the sinkhole happened is private property, and it will be up to the owners to replace the pipe.

It took two tow trucks and a Bobcat to remove Shoemaker's Ford F-150 from the sinkhole.

Ray Yates with Rite-Way Auto Service, one of the tow companies that helped out, said he's been with the company for almost 10 years and has never seen anything like what he saw Tuesday night.

After spending the night at the hospital, Shoemakers said he's grateful for the men and women who rushed to his side.

"It was a blessing in disguise," he said. "I really believe that."

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