WORCESTER - While crews continue their work at the site of a water main break in the Greendale section of the city, Vincent McCue is working to rebuild his life after he was nearly swallowed by a sinkhole during the incident.
News helicopters captured the dramatic rescue after Mr. McCue drove his 2001 pickup truck into what he thought was a big puddle Tuesday. Police Chief Steven M. Sargent had pulled up to flooded road near Interstate 190, and he and a lieutenant formed a human chain to pull Mr. McCue to safety.
Mr. McCue said he saw traffic backing up and took a shortcut through the Greendale Mall, as many other drivers did.
“After a half-hour of traffic trying to come out of the mall, I couldn’t take a right because it was gridlocked traffic and straight ahead there were barrels but they were far apart,” he said, adding that he thought a lane was closed and the road was open.
“I was like, I can jump on the highway right there,” he said. “I didn’t think there was anything but water, a little bit of water.”
He said in the recent flash floods, he’s driven through puddles with no problem, “gassing it” before he hits the water and going right through. This time, though, he hit the gas pedal and suddenly was sinking.
“It just went straight down,” he said.
WATCH: Truck crashes into sinkhole created by Worcester water main break https://t.co/7DnSTRNGAA pic.twitter.com/PFFxuui9dy
— Boston 25 News (@boston25) August 7, 2018//
His truck was totaled, and Mr. McCue, who operates a plastering company from his Leicester home, said the sinkhole was just the latest incident in a patch of tough luck.
A few months ago he was in a crash that damaged the same truck and broke his finger trying to change the tire. He’s been recovering from that injury and was returning from a visit to his mother, who is in hospice, when he drove into the sinkhole.
“Everything was filling up with water, and I said, ‘I need to get out of this truck,’ ” he said.
Adding insult to injury, his broken finger was re-injured, he hit his head and many of his tools were damaged. The van he also uses for work didn’t pass inspection, so he’s also been dealing with that.
Mr. McCue said he’s taking things in stride, but does feel hurt when people question why he drove into the water. He said it could have happened to anyone because the situation didn’t look dangerous.
“There were people standing there, and no one waved or yelled, like, 'stop, stop,' ” he said. “The barrels weren’t close together, and there were none in front of the water. You really couldn’t tell it was that deep.”
He also said the incident, which seems funny to some, could’ve been far more serious had he been in a vehicle with power windows that were up.
“Then I probably wouldn’t have gotten out,” he said.
While the last few months have been rough, Mr. McCue is hoping maybe his bad luck has been washed away. He’s out looking for a new truck and working on salvaging what he can from the old one so he can eventually get back to work.
The Culprit! Here is a photo of the broken 24 inch water main pipe that was replaced at Stores St. and Shore Dr. The break was along the bottom of the pipe. pic.twitter.com/bulR8NqJwI
— DPW & P (@WorcesterDPW) August 9, 2018//