A BROKEN sewer pipe caused a Cheltenham road to collapse beneath a car, trapping the vehicle in the hole.
And the damage to the Kia Sedona has left a family of eight without the people carrier they use every day.
Katy Griffith and her husband were setting off on holiday with Mr Griffith’s parents, Jane and Mike Lloyd, when the incident happened.
Having just loaded up the car, Mr Griffith was reversing out of the Lloyd’s driveway into Arle Drive when the road opened up beneath the front wheel
Katy, 32, said: “It was a hell of a bang. I thought my husband had reversed into the kerb or one of the tyres had popped.
“I got out to have a look and the front wheel on the driver’s side was in a big hole. It was really big, it would come up to my knee.”
Now Katy and Mike, also 32, from St Paul's, are without their people carrier while it is assessed for damage, forcing them to ask friends for lifts to school for their six children.
Katy said: “The Highways people covered over the hole with tarmac in the summer but it’s just opened up again.
“We missed the first day of our holiday in Devon because we were late getting there, and we’ve now got to claim from our insurance for the repairs. We don’t know whether the car is repairable.
“I’m not very happy about it. And if that hole had opened up under a motorbike or cyclist, or a child running across the road, it could really have been nasty.
“I think Highways should fix the hole properly this time.”
Chris Riley, Highways manager at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The collapse in the road on Arle Drive is a result of a damaged sewer.
“In order to fix the road and ensure this doesn’t happen again, the sewer needs to be repaired by Severn Trent beforehand.”
He added: “We’ve made the area safe, and are currently working closely with Severn Trent to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, which we hope to do with little disruption to the residents of the street.”