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Deputy dies when sinkhole swallows vehicle in San Antonio

By Allen Cone
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Deputy dies when sinkhole swallows vehicle in San Antonio
A 12-foot deep sinkhole swallowed two cars and killed a Bexar County sheriff's deputy in southwest San Antonio, officials confirmed Monday. Photo courtesy San Antonio Fire Department/Facebook

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A sheriff's deputy died after her car fell into a sinkhole that spanned the width of a small road in San Antonio, local authorities confirmed.

The body of Dora Linda (Solis) Nishihara, a part-time Bexas County sheriff's deputy, was recovered by emergency crews at 12:41 p.m. Monday in southwest San Antonio, the city's fire department said.

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The deputy's personnel vehicle was upside down in the 12-foot-deep sinkhole, which was likely caused by a sewer rupture, officials said.

Firefighters and EMS personnel found two cars inside the sinkhole around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

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A 60-year-old man was rescued by a woman before the personnel arrived. They were transported to a hospital with minor injuries, fire officials said Sunday.

But the deputy's body wasn't recovered by a crane until the next day, and Fire Chief Charles Hood said crews worked the scene as a "body recovery."

"The bottom of the sink hole was filled with swift flowing water," the fire department said in a release. "After a thorough risk assessment it was determined that attempting to enter the sink hole was too risky and the conditions inside the cab of vehicle No. 2 were not consistent with maintaining life. The area around the hole was unstable and further collapses were witnessed by crews on scene."

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Also, nearby trains could have caused vibrations during the recovery effort, Hood said.

The San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio Water System crews and city police department worked to salvage the vehicles, said SAFD Battalion Chief Brian O'Neil.

The road collapse is adjacent to a 96-inch sewer line, and recycled and water lines are in the area, the fire department said in the release.

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