Police officer rescues woman from sinkhole
A Kailua police officer jumped into a water-filled sinkhole Sunday night to rescue a woman who had fallen in and was submerged.
The woman was treated at Castle Medical Center after the 7:30 p.m. incident at Kawailoa and Lihiwai roads near the entrance to Lanikai.
Police officer Lane Hamrick was directing traffic at the scene, where one lane was closed because of a water main break, Kailua police Sgt. Gary Daniels said.
The female motorist disregarded a barricade at the scene and drove her car over crumbling pavement where water was surfacing. When she got out of the car to look at what caused the car to be stuck, the roadway collapsed around her.
"The ground gave way, and she fell in and was submerged," Daniels said.
"He saw her. He jumped in and saved her," Daniels said. "The pressure from the broken pipe was sucking them back under. Another officer at the scene, Justin Winter, reached down and grabbed Hamrick and helped them out." He said the woman's name was not available.
Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Su Shin said the car was cleared from the scene by the time the agency's crew arrived after 8 p.m. The 6-inch main was five feet below the surface, she said. The pipe was repaired by 2:50 a.m. yesterday, she said.
Shin said it was one of three water main breaks Sunday, one of which was possibly caused by the earthquakes. "There was one at Kuliouou that happened as soon as the earthquake happened. We can make an educated guess that it was the effect." The break at 727 Kuliouou Road was reported at 7:30 a.m. Sunday and repaired by 5 p.m.
"It's difficult to say if a water main break is caused by the quake," Shin said. "If anything shifts the earth, it affects the water main underground." The third main break on Helena Street in Makakilo was reported at 8 a.m. and repaired by 6 p.m.