VICTORVILLE – An 8-year-old autistic boy was safely rescued from a sinkhole on Sunday afternoon. The incident was reported at around 3:12 p.m. when the boy had fallen into the sinkhole in the 15400 block of Bear Valley Road near Cypress Avenue. The mother of the boy told dispatchers that she had attempted to help her son out of the over 10’ deep, 5-foot wide hole that had approximately 2 feet of water at the bottom authorities said. The edges of the hole had unstable soil around the edges.
A deputy with the Victorville station arrived at the apartment complex and immediately retrieved a swift water rescue rope from her patrol unit. As she laid on the edge looking into the hole, she lowered one end of the rope down to the boy. She instructed him to place the rope around his waist and to tie several knots. She talked to the child, and was able to keep him calm while the San Bernardino County Fire personnel arrived at the scene to assist with the rescue. “Firefighters initial priorities were to secure the area around the hole to prevent any further soil from falling in onto the child,” said San Bernardino County Fire spokesman Jeremy Kern in a news release. “Two ladders were placed in order to distribute the weight and allow firefighters to make contact with the victim.”
Fire officials said that pre tied ropes were lowered down to the child to secure his torso, legs, and upper extremities. The boy was pulled from the hole within around 15 minutes, alert and communicating with firefighters. “The boy was transported to a local hospital to be examined,” said Victorville Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman Mara Rodriguez in the news release. “According to his parents, he suffered no injuries. Public Works were requested at the scene to cover the hole. It is unclear how long the hole has been at the location.
San Bernardino County Fire officials would like to remind citizens that if anybody should ever fall into a pit or sink hole to keep a safe distance until firefighters arrive. Soil can become soft and collapse unless specific precautions are put in place to secure the ground. This can risk the safety of the victim and potentially hurt would be rescuers.
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- SBCoFD-Sinkhole-Rescue: Photo by SBCoFD