Van drives into large sinkhole Friday morning on Franklin Street

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Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 5:19 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 8:18 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Dispatch confirms a water main break on West Franklin Street near Seventh Avenue.

That’s just east of the railroad tracks near Pigeon Creek.

Some EWSU customers are without water due to the main break.

That was reported around 2 a.m.

Officials say while crews were setting up to repair the break, a person driving in the wrong direction on Franklin drove around a barrier and into a large sinkhole where the pavement collapsed due to the water main break.

They tell us the van landed on a gas main, which is on top of the water main. CenterPoint crews were also called out.

The driver is OK. However, police say the driver was cited for a city ordinance violation for going around the barricades. Police say no charges will be filed.

Water officials say this is the second time people have driven around road closed signs and barricades.

“I’m glad no one was injured and no one was actually in the hole at the time repairing this,” said Justin Guetling, city water distribution manager. “This is something that motorists need to be cautioned and be aware of when they see road closed signs. . .”

A boil advisory will be issued for the area by Pigeon Creek, Fulton Avenue, and West Franklin Street, south to the Lloyd Expressway.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

Some nearby businesses, like The Copper House, had to close for the day. One of the owners, Charisa Perkins, said they arrived to work at the restaurant to find out they had no water.

“I told everyone who is scheduled they can come in and do some cleaning. . .” said Perkins. “Anything that doesn’t require water, so they can get some hours still, but it definitely very much affects us.”