December 5, 2010

Chevy Chase sinkhole swallows car

CHEVY CHASE, Md. - When Peter De Gajary got to his Bethesda home Thursday night, all he wanted to do was find the best parking spot at his building.

"There was a woman in front of me coming out of North Park going to Friendship Boulevard and she got the parking space in the back of the line of cars that I would have gotten," said De Gajary.

So he parked in another spot that appeared to be even better. When he got up the next day, it started out as a typical morning, but the water was out.

"So you try to get ready for the day without any water. Do it, manage it somehow. I don't exactly look as if I took a shower and shaved, but that's par for the course," he said.

After breakfast, he grabbed his briefcase and headed to his car.

"When I kind of turned around, I knew with all the emergency vehicles there, that it was a pretty bad scene, that this is pretty bad and I parked there. More than likely, I’m somehow going to be the epicenter,” said De Gajary.

It turns out he was right. A giant sinkhole swallowed up his Toyota Corolla.

"It was shocking, stunning," he said about his reaction to the scene.

He says his boss laughed and his insurance agent told him she had never dealt with anything like this before so she had to get a supervisor. The Toyota Corolla, with more than 200,000 miles that was given to him five years ago by his late father, had been stuck for two hours in water in a sinkhole. But De Gajary isn't the least bit upset.

"At the end of the day, just have a good laugh no matter what it is that happens to you," he said.

On Monday, the insurance company will determine if the car is worth keeping.

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