Insult to injury: Car vandalized after falling in sinkhole

DULUTH - A car that was swallowed up in a sinkhole Saturday morning was still underground Monday.

The 1995 Chevrolet Caprice was traveling on West Liddell Road near Satellite Boulevard in Duluth early Saturday when the road gave way, plunging the vehicle, and its sole occupant, into the ground.

Gwinnett DOT had closed off the roadway with barrels and warning tape after flooding made the area dangerous, but the driver, who was not injured, told police they had been moved.

If that wasn't bad enough, a police report indicated the driver returned Sunday morning to find the car's windows smashed, the seats ripped and speakers removed from the rear deck.

A pedestrian reported seeing people around the vehicle about 4 a.m. Sunday.

The car was set to be removed from the sinkhole today, according to Steve Leo, county stormwater director, when Water Resources begins replacing a failed culvert under the roadway. A contractor will dig out the 48-inch metal culvert, creating a ramp in the process so a wrecker can safely tow the car from the hole.

Leo said the replacement culvert will be a 72-inch, reinforced concrete pipe expected to hold up for a century.

The work is expected to take 10 to 14 days and will be paid for with stormwater fees. Inspectors will be called in to determine if the road is safe for reopening.