Larry Pace was on his way to work last Saturday when he saw something on Sunset Harbor Road. That something turned out to be a giant hole in the earth, but before he could stop his van it was too late.
"I went over it, heard a boom boom. My tires popped and I started seeing sparks on the side and you can see here these black marks," Pace said as he pointed to the ground. "This is where I slid into the side with my tires popped."
Pace drives a 2007 Chrysler mini-van to carry his four kids around the county, but right now it's completely out of commission.
"The tires popped, completely ripped off," Pace said. "The under carriage, it's completely bent in half."
He says it was a near death experience.
"When it hit me was when everyone came up to me saying oh man you're lucky to be alive, you better go to church tomorrow," said Pace with a smile. "It wasn't until after hearing those comments that I realized I just survived something major."
Looking back, Pace said the size of this hole is a reminder of how lucky he is to be alive. Now, he's trying to dig himself out of a financial hole, and find a way to pay for his car to be fixed. Pace feels like that shouldn't be his responsibility.
"I don't think there's anything I could have done to avoid this. I know I didn't do anything to cause this. Now, all of a sudden, I'm out a van," said Pace. "My insurance company is working with me the best they can, but even then I'm going to have a rate increase or a deductible. Something's going to have to come out of my pocket."
For now, he's using a rental car, but he doesn't know when, or if, his van will be fixed.
Pace is asking for the DOT to help pay for repairs on his car, since it's a state-maintained road. There is no word yet on if the DOT will help.
Meanwhile, Sunset Harbor remains blocked to traffic.
Brunswick Emergency Services Deputy Director, Scott Garner said the blockage does not affect their service to the area. Garner says the alternative routes they use only add about two minutes of commute time when responding to an emergency.
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