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Man dies in Florida sinkhole accident

April 11, 2011 at 11:21 AM   |   Comments

GAINESVILLE, Fla., April 11 (UPI) -- A man died after a sinkhole opened at a well he was a drilling in Florida and a truck fell on him, a sheriff's investigator said.

When the sinkhole opened, Johnn Clyde Smith's 5,500-pound truck fell in on top of him, The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun reported.

The accident occurred Saturday and Smith's partner found his body about 11 p.m. The body was pulled from the hole about 6 a.m. Sunday.

"It looks like he already had some well pipe in the ground when the sinkhole opened up beneath him and he fell in," said Maj. Tony Smith, Gilchrist County sheriff's investigator.

"Then the truck fell in on top of him and caved in the sides, which covered him in about 5 feet of dirt."

The sinkhole was about 35 feet across. The accident occurred on privately owned property behind the Lancaster Correctional Institution.

Smith's body was taken to the medical examiner's office in Gainesville for autopsy. He was 52.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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