Update: The golf course confirms that the sinkhole has been filled in.
WATERLOO, IL (KTVI) - Just weeks after a sinkhole in Florida swallows a man in his house, an golfer survives his brush with a sinkhole on a golf course.
Mark Mihal was walking on the 14th hole at Annbriar Golf Course last week when the ground suddenly gave way.
He fell into a hole some 18 feet deep and became trapped underneath the surface.
“First step right on it I was gone,” said Mihal. His shoulder was dislocated and he was waiting to find out whether his arm was broken from trying to grab the ground around him as he fell.
“The second I fell I thought about the guy in Florida,” said Mihal.
The Creve Coeur resident was fortunate friends were with him at the Waterloo, IL golf course to call for help. The general manager of the course rushed to the hole with a ladder and a rope.
Friends were able to help make the rescue. He posted a few photos of the rescue on a golf website he operates, www.GolfManna.com.
“It was dark but finally my eyes got used to the light,” said Mihal. “I looked around and it was sort of like a cave.”
The St. Louis area is more prone to sinkholes than other parts of the U.S. because of the soil composition.
Some geologists warn that structures are built over areas that are susceptible without future owners being fully aware.
Mihal calls his near-death experience a freak accident and is anxious to heal so he can play golf again.
This is not the 1st life-threatening event his family has faced. His wife was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.
“We had just lived through how valuable life is and we already kind of understood that,” said Lori Mihal. “We’re just very thankful.”
For more information on sinkholes, click on USGS.