Woman falls into storm drain left uncovered by city worker

Cedric Pacheco
Cedric Pacheco
Rico Rico
Rico Rico
Luverne Pacheco
Luverne Pacheco

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

WAIPAHU (KHNL)- A scary moment in Waipahu as a woman takes a wrong step and slips down a storm drain hole left uncovered by a city crew.

Luverne Pacheco picks every afternoon to make a trip to her mailbox, but her family says carelessness by a city worker could have cost her life.

"When I looked out my window, I saw her, half of her body was sticking out"

Cecil Pacheco couldn't believe his eyes, his mother stuck in a storm drain. Family, neighbors all rushed to help. She lunged for the mailboxes to save her balance but they all just buckled to the ground.

"I asked the worker what happened he said he opened the drain and went to get a cone, turned around and saw auntie in the drain," said Neighbor Rico Rico.

"I said you know what, that's too late already, my mother is hurt," said Witness Cecil Pacheco.

The worker helped her out and eventually covered the hole, but the family opened it back up to show how serious this situation is.

The 56-year-old was rushed to the hospital. She had visible scrapes, but her family says the size of her hips saved her from slipping all the way down.

It isn't exactly a small hole, but if an average sized adult can fit down it,  the family fears with countless kids running around, it could have been worse.

"They ride their bikes past here, past Rico's house. If someone had fallen in there I think they would have died," said Witness Cedric Pacheco.

Sealing it up for safety, the family hopes this serves as a wake up call that even a simple careless mistake can be costly.

"I hope they learn from this before someone else gets hurt," said Rico.

Pacheco suffered scrapes and had x-rays taken at the hospital, but is expected to be ok.

Calls to the city for comment weren't returned, but the family says the crew takes full responsibility for what happened.