A manhole sticking up from the middle of the road on Spokane’s South Hill Monday night ripped the bottom of one woman’s car to shreds. City leaders said the manhole was clearly marked, but it left the car undrivable.
Driver Caitie Hartman said she heard her oil tray get ripped off from the bottom of her car as she drove over the manhole in a construction zone near the intersection of East 17th and Grand Avenue.
“All of a sudden my car goes over a bump and then i just hear this horrible crashing sound,” Harman said. “It sucks now I can’t drive to work...it's kind of turned my world upside down for right now. I have never been a wreck and to have this happen...I didn't do anything, I was just driving.”
A spokesperson for the City of Spokane said the manhole cover was marked with signs and surrounded by a cushion, leaving it two inches from the ground. Caitie’s father went back to the scene and took pictures showing the manhole cover sitting about four inches above the street.
“It’s a manhole cover that’s sticking out of the ground,” he said. “She clearly wouldn’t have ripped the oil pan off the car if the manhole would’ve been clearly marked or even had the nice cement angling up to where she wouldn’t have hit it.”
Caitie’s parents said they wanted the City to recoup the cost of repairing the car, if it can be repaired at all. They said everyone they spoke with was pleasant, but there was no word on whether they would be able to help or not.
City leaders say this was the first call they received about damage from the construction. The Hartman family filed a claim with the risk management team who will evaluate the damage.