There’s no denying that a road closure can be inconvenient, especially if getting where you need to go now requires a massive detour. And it’s even more frustrating if that particular road is the only way to get there. But at the same time, when you see concrete barriers and “road closed” signs, there’s usually a good reason they’re up. Finding your own way around the barrier is probably a bad idea, partly because you never know when that particular road has been closed because a giant, car-swallowing sinkhole has opened up.
CBS News reports that’s exactly what happened to a two-lane road in San Joaquin, California recently. A “compromised retention pond” eroded the dirt under the road, eventually causing the asphalt to completely collapse and creating a large hole. The kind of hole that vehicles could get stuck in.
According to the California Highway Patrol, it blocked off the road with “road closed” and “flooded” signs, which you’d think would be enough to keep drivers from finding a way around. And yet, only hours later, CHP says a car drove through the flooded area and got stuck in the collapsing pavement and started to fall in.
The next day, the road completely collapsed. Officials warned people not to try to drive around the barriers and said the road would be closed long-term. But surely that warning was unnecessary, right? Everyone would learn their lesson from the driver who previously had to be rescued and stay away, right?
Wrong. About a week later, CHP says another car got stuck in the hole. “THIS CAN’T BE REAL!” it wrote in a Facebook post. “We’re at a loss for words. If only there were signs and/or barriers that could have prevented this.”
But, apparently, it’s going to take a lot more than some concrete barriers, signs, Facebook posts, and two cars getting stuck in the sinkhole to stop drivers from trying to use that road. Because, you guessed it, a third vehicle got stuck.
In a Facebook post following the third incident, CHP reiterated its previous message. Stop driving around barriers on a closed road and getting your car stuck in a sinkhole. Please. It’s closed for a reason. Three people have already needed to be rescued. Don’t try to use Kasson Road.
Will it be enough to stop a fourth driver from making the same stupid decision? Who knows. But if we had to guess, we’re going to say probably not.