SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – New surveillance video shows what happened moments before a car plunged into a sinkhole in East County Monday night.
El Cajon Police claimed the driver disobeyed road signs and put herself in harm’s way, but surveillance video shows a different side to the story.
Ken Wingert recorded video of a driver falling into a sinkhole in El Cajon. The business he manages is diagonal from where the road opened with cameras pointed at the scene.
Police claimed the driver went into the opposite lane of traffic to go around a police vehicle blocking the intersection.
An officer then yelled at the woman driver and the two spoke for about minute
News 8 showed the video to El Cajon Police. They declined an on camera interview, but said the video shows the officers acted appropriately.
The police report said the officer instructed the woman to leave the area immediately.
A witness claimed he heard the officer tell the driver to back up, but the officer did not member saying that.
Instead, the woman tries to turn around and the road gives way – creating a sinkhole.
El Cajon Police Lieutenant Rob Ranswiller said the officers were being cautious – unsure how stable the asphalt was after hearing it crack.
The surveillance video shows an officer slipping and falling into the sinkhole. His arms are seen flailing before he is able to climb out.
An officer was able to break open the rear windshield of the car to rescue the driver from the highest point, but she climbed out the side so the officer who fell in went in again to help.
Ransweiller said he is grateful no one was hurt.
Wingert said he believes police could have done more to prevent it.