Woman speaks about fall down storm drain - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Woman speaks about fall down storm drain

Luverne Pacheco Luverne Pacheco
Cecil Pacheco Cecil Pacheco

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

WAIPAHU (KHNL) - A Waipahu woman's trip to the mailbox ended in a terrifying fall.

Luverne Pacheco is dealing with the pain of stepping into a storm drain left uncovered by a city worker.

She says her quick action stopped her from falling completely into the nearly 10-foot deep hole in front of her house.

Her family says it was all caused by the carelessness of a city worker.

Luverne Pacheco says even standing on her porch is pushing it.

"It's scary, I think about it all the time," said Waipahu resident Luverne Pacheco.

She has severe scrapes down her side, sores, her whole body aches.

"Every time she looks at this manhole, she's traumatized," said Luverne's son Cecil Pacheco.

She says there wasn't a cone, sign or anything that warned of the open drain.

"She used this mailbox to brace her," said Cecil Pacheco.

"The mailbox broke and I dropped," said Luverne Pacheco.

Her arms braced her fall, preventing her body from falling all the way down. The city worker who opened the drain, rushed to help.

"He went 'ma'am are you ok?' I said 'can you pull me up?,'" said Luverne Pacheco.

City spokesman Johnny Brannon says:

"We've been made aware of this unfortunate incident and we are conducting an investigation to try and determine exactly what happened. while we can't comment in detail as the investigation is underway, we can assure the public that safety is always a top city priority."

"Maybe he was in a rush, but that's a bad mistake. Put the cone first before you take off the cover, that's all I can say," said Cecil Pacheco.

Luverne says she'll recover and will eventually be able to go get the mail again, but that drain cover will always be a reminder of danger.

She's on pain medication, but says she's lucky she didn't break any bones.

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