Have you ever experienced a pothole strike that sounded expensive? Same here, although I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as one road imperfection a British driver hit on Saturday. While bent wheels and blown tires are annoying, they aren’t as catastrophic as coming to a halt on the spot. Yes, one person behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia managed to do some damage to their hatchback by driving it into a small sinkhole. Best of all? The entire thing was captured on CCTV.
@davefranks #sinkhole #worlsop #fyp #foryour #foryou #carcrash #uk #News #oops #why #avoidable #ohno ♬ Mission Impossible (Main Theme) – Favorite Movie Songs
The incident in question happened in Worksop, a town of roughly 45,000 people nestled between Nottingham and Doncaster, and was subsequently posted to TikTok. If, for whatever reason, you can’t view the video, don’t worry — I’ve got you covered with the play-by-play.
First up, it’s a Kia Sorento, a spacious school run-focused crossover that still has plenty of sidewall and reasonable ground clearance. While you won’t see one of these family vehicles running King of the Hammers anytime soon, it’s not the worst choice for skipping over a sinkhole.
The Sorento driver made a lucky escape and the owner of a white 2011-2019 Volkswagen Beetle cabriolet got even luckier, bouncing up out of the hole like it just hit a trampoline. I feel bad for that thing’s radiator support, but this plucky little Volkswagen will live to fight another day.
After seeing the Sorento and Beetle bound their ways through the sinkhole, a wiser driver decides to wait for oncoming traffic to clear before gingerly maneuvering into the oncoming lane to drive around the gap in the road. While not objectively the safest idea since you never know how wide the hole goes until the ground totally gives way, it’s still a better move than risking getting stuck in a pit.
Finally, there’s the Skoda Fabia driver. Despite seeing another driver go around the sinkhole, the Fabia driver doesn’t do the same, instead charging at the sinkhole head-on. Big mistake. The front end digs in and the whole car briefly does an endo before ending up thoroughly wedged in the cavity.
Aside from the obvious driver error, what happened here? Well, sinkholes occur when the ground or other support beneath the surface of the land erodes over time, eventually forming a cavity. Cavities don’t hold things up terribly well, so the surface of the land will eventually give way. The BBC reports that this particular sinkhole was caused by a sewer pipe collapse, which sounds like a crappy situation all-round.
While the sinkhole looks to be roughly the size of a Michigan pothole on CCTV, it’s a different story when viewed through a longer lens. I can’t show the BBC’s photos here, but if you click this link, you’ll find a hole big enough to swim in. Then again, you probably wouldn’t want to, given what caused the sinkhole in the first place.
It should go without saying, but “avoid risky holes” is generally a good rule to have in life. It’s how you don’t fall down a mine shaft, get your finger trapped in old machinery, or indeed, wedge your Skoda Fabia in a sinkhole. Hell, even altering your position within a lane to avoid potholes isn’t a bad idea. Your wheels, tires, and suspension will thank you.
(Photo credits: TikTok/davefranks)
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Skoda Fabio is a VW what?
So a car fell into a “Stink-Hole” and everyone gathered around it to looky-loo. So smart they are.
Sinkhole, Mississippi, sinkhole, Mississi-i-i-ipi,
Somebody’s gonna get some sink-hole.
I do not know who sang that, but once you hear it, you will not forget it.
Bet he was cursing at the driver in front of him, waiting for traffic to go around, too
*don’t be a pedantic geologist*
*don’t be a pedantic geologist*
Ah, screw it. So, a sinkhole is formed by natural geologic processes. This particular hole, formed by man made causes, is more appropriately called a collapse.
Fair enough, but really, what’s the point of being a geologist unless one is also a pedant? After all, it’s not so much a science as it is a vocabulary.
And beer, there’s lots of beer.
Stop giving away our trade secrets!
Being a geologist rocks.
Specifically, stratigraphy rocks
Even though I’m a geologist I’m fond of this one:
“Geology rocks but geography is where it’s at.”
There would seem to be enough edge cases (e.g., the entire state of Florida) that the distinction would be challenging to maintain. Where do you draw the line?
Florida absolutely can be an edge case at times. I work as a hydrogeologist for a state agency, so the first thought that comes to mind is our record freezes in December 2009 and January 2010. The freezing weather causes farmers of some crops to pump water to protect the crops from freeze damage. The record amount of pumping during these freezes caused severe aquifer declines. Those severe aquifer declines caused several sinkholes to open up in the area. A case where a natural geologic process was exacerbated by human activities.
How do you know that the possible-a-sinkhole was formed by a man-made cause instead of a geologic process underneath the man-made road?
In this particular case, and without actually being there, it seems highly likely it was purely the failure of the sewer pipe that led to the sudden fluid flow which eroded the sediment supporting the road. Now theoretically could there be an earthquake at a location that breaks the pipe that then damages the road that somehow escaped the earthquake undamaged? Sure, doesn’t seem likely, but sure.
I doubt there’s much of a chance of noticeable earthquake activity in Worksop. It does, however, sit on the Edlington Formation (Permian) which contains a fair amount of marl and various evaporites and in places is karstic, but my guess is that the material directly under the road is fill and, like you, I strongly suspect the failure was indeed because of a sewer pipe.
Oh for sure. My hypothetical was non-location specific.
My neighbour across the road had a sink hole appear in his driveway last year caused by a leaking storm drain and was apparently all repaired.
About six weeks ago he walked to his garage to get his motorbike out. Three feet from the door he disappears into the driveway up to his chest. Best of all it’s caught on his cctv, it’s hilarious and looks like a camera trick. Must’ve been terrifying for him at the time, and he’s lucky it happened as he walked over it and not when he rode over on his bike.
He seems pretty chilled about it all, I’d be worried his whole house is going to start disappearing.
It’s what they get for driving on the wrong side of the road.
If your town can’t even afford an ‘h’, I doubt there’s much in the road maintenance budget.
Good thing driver had that tall car ground clearance!
I’m pretty sure my Miata could have negotiated that one.
Near Nottingham, you say? This is why King John needed those higher taxes, people. To keep the roads in good repair! Robin Hood was not a hero…he’s the reason you have sink holes!
Eh, he’d probably have just done what US states do with gas taxes – funnel it all to the state police, so they can provide law enforcement to tightwad townships that should have created their own local police departments decades ago, then keep bitching about how the roads still aren’t being fixed
I wish I’d read this article twenty-five years ago; your advice to “avoid risky holes” might have saved me from my college girlfriend.
Although with your user name, I think you would understand those risks!
In Kansas when they repave the roads, they used to weld a ring around the manhole to make the cover flush with the new pavement, now they don’t so you wind up with thousands of 2-4″ deep “potholes” courtesy of the city. Fun to miss them in a Mini, but it does look like you’ve had a few too many to the outsider as you wander back and forth across the lane to miss them. I guess rolling over these with 20″ wheels you barely feel them, but if I hit one I sure know about it!
Hopefully municipalities start to specify adjustable frames for manhole covers, they do exist. Otherwise they just overlay and the road gets built up over the covers over time.
Further concern: they get out , walk around, and then *stand on the sagging asphalt*. You couldn’t pay me to do that, it’s a great way to get dropped in the cacky.
Trying to see tiktok videos never seem to work for me. It seems as soon as I scroll to the embedded video, it auto refreshes to related videos and not the one you want to show. If I want to see the video, I have to click on the profile, then look at their videos to find it
Sinkholes caused by underground erosion are usually the result of broken storm sewers, not sanitary sewers. It is possible for a sanitary sewer breech to do this, but it’s less likely because a residential street like this probably only has a small main, about 8 inches, and very little flow from just a few neighboring homes.
A storm sewer can surcharge considerably in a big rain event, and the force of the water can actually separate the concrete pipes and structures from each other. The rush of water through the breech then erodes the dirt around it, and eventually you have a cavity.
Of course, this being England, it’s probably an old-style combined sewer system, and probably quite old, too.
This is correct, flow rates from sanitary sewer lines are nothing compared to storm lines after a storm. There’s a reason why your typical sanitary line is something on the order of 8″ where storm sewer lines around here can be in excess of 30″.
You are also correct that this is likely an old combined system. Our city is currently in the process of slowly separating our sanitary from storm to limit the burden on the wastewater treatment plant. We now overflow way less raw sewage into the Hudson than we used to!
Edit: Also, sanitary structures typically have rubber boots or expanding link-seals to ensure a proper seal around sanitary lines going in and out of structures. Stormwater catch basins and manholes, not so much. Those openings are typically oversized and the installer grouts the void around the pipe after it’s installed. That grout often fails over time and results in leaks.
Yet you fail to include the Boiled British Diet. No fiber all liguid. That is why tbey have those huge british sewer fat monsters.
Yep. A highway near me spent 6 weeks under repair after a 100-foot sinkhole opened after the storm water culvert underneath it collapsed
Yep, in the UK most of our sewers are combined, and old. Changing that would require the privatised water companies to spend money replacing infrastructure, when of course it’s easier to just dump sewage into the river and pocket the bonuses.
I’ve been to Worksop too.
Yeah a familiar name.
I’ve got a Carlton made Raleigh bicycle hanging on my wall it came from Worksop in the 70’s.
Me too! A Raleigh Supercourse TT!
I’ve got a Higgins Ultralite but it’s of the three-wheeled variety, because of course the British take their tricycle racing quite seriously.