Man forced to punch out windshield after massive sinkhole swallows his car

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DURHAM, North Carolina - Robert Belcher thought he saw a puddle ahead while driving down a North Carolina road Sunday night.

That "puddle" ended up being a 15-foot sinkhole, filled with water, that swallowed his vehicle whole, leaving Belcher with a broken ankle and an eye that's swollen shut.

"It was no puddle, but I didn't know that until I was in it. My truck had already went down and started flipping," Belcher says.

Belcher was trapped as rushing water sent his vehicle rolling down into a ravine, with water so heavy, Belcher couldn't open the doors.

"I just kept punching it and finally it broke through," Belcher said.

Belcher punched through his windshield, then held onto a tree limb until rescue crews arrived.

"I just told God, 'God don't let me die like this,'" Belcher said. "I looked at it as I want to live. I got a family."

His was one of several vehicles the sinkhole mangled that night.

"When I tried to stop it was too late," said Javier Rosales. "I bumped my tires and my axle flew out."

Heavy rains broke the 72-inch water pipe under the road, causing the sinkhole, which will now take up to two months to repair.


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