Russell Lee Park remains closed following rescue from hole - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Russell Lee Park remains closed following rescue from hole

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The hole at Russell Lee Park where Myahana Moore and Terrance Washington were rescued from. The hole at Russell Lee Park where Myahana Moore and Terrance Washington were rescued from.
Marty Storch Marty Storch
Councilwoman Attica Scott Councilwoman Attica Scott
Myahana Moore (Source: Family photo) Myahana Moore (Source: Family photo)
Terrance Washington (Source: Family photo) Terrance Washington (Source: Family photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One day after firefighters rescued a man and little girl from a 14 foot deep hole, city officials have decided to keep Russell Lee Park closed until further notice.

"We do not want a repeat of what happened, so right now, we have the park closed," said Marty Storch, assistant director of Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation.

Storch said it's too soon to tell exactly what the hole is or where it came from, but believed the park's previous housing of a neighborhood may have played a key role in the incident.

"It could be a cistern," said Storch. "It could be a well. It could be a drainage hole, but it obviously is a manmade structure."

In the light of day, WAVE 3 News got an up close look at just how far down two-year-old Myahana Moore and West Port Yellowjackets youth football coach Terrance Washington fell before being rescued by Louisville firefighters Thursday night. Made of bricks, the well-shaped hole contained a pipe opening.

"They may have used it for drainage or for sewers or something of that effect," said Tony Marconi, preventative maintenance and support services manager with Metro Sewer District. "At one point it was probably capped off."

"We don't know what was the condition of the homes that were here before and whether or not the park was just laid over something that was already a bad situation," said Councilwoman Attica Scott (D-District 1).

Russell Lee Park falls within Councilwoman Scott's jurisdiction. According to Scott, sinkholes are not uncommon in the area.

"On my way over here," began Scott, "there {was} a sinkhole at 32nd and Virginia."

Despite their frequency, Scott ensured following the Thursday night rescue the Russell Lee Park community's concerns are not going unnoticed.

"Parks is working right now to figure out how to fill whatever holes they find," began Scott. "I'm going to do whatever I need to do from my office to help them in that process."

"I'm researching. I don't see any Metro calls," said Storch when questioned if the holes had been reported to the city. "{I} spoke to Councilwoman {Scott} last night. She hadn't received anything. Let me tell you parks, we don't want to put anybody in harm's way."

To ensure the safety of all, Storch said crews will continue evaluating the land and keep the park closed until they can come up with a safe long-term solution. In the meantime, crews have filled the 14 foot hole with rocks before covering it with soil and fabric. Orange and white cones as well as caution tape continue to mark areas deemed potentially hazardous.

Stay with WAVE 3 News on-air, online at wave3.com, and on mobile via the WAVE 3 News app for updates on this developing story.

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