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Good Samaritan’s Lonely Vigil Guarding Big Sinkhole

Brett Blume
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9/13/11-Good Samaritan David Ferguson stands his self-appointed watch over a section of Chouteau in south St. Louis that collapsed early Tuesday morning, diverting unsuspecting drivers around the hazard. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

9/13/11-Good Samaritan David Ferguson stands his self-appointed watch over a section of Chouteau in south St. Louis that collapsed early Tuesday morning, diverting unsuspecting drivers around the hazard. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  This is not how David Ferguson expected to spend most of his morning when he got up to go to work Tuesday.

He stood, solitary but steadfast, waving unwary drivers around a giant sinkhole that suddenly formed in the road surface in the 2100 block of Chouteau, right across from St. Louis Cremation.

He was driving his Frito-Lay truck when he noticed the big, gaping hole around 7:30 a.m.

“I went in and called police,” Ferguson said about an hour into his vigil, “and nobody’s come out about it yet.”

The hole initially looked to be roughly 3-feet-long by 18-inches wide, but it grew as Ferguson looked on with more bricks just below the surface dropping off and landing at the bottom of the hole, a distance of some 10-to-15 feet.

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Ferguson felt compelled to stand watch until somebody in an official capacity showed up.

“I’ve diverted twelve school buses, two Metro buses and a fuel tanker,” Ferguson pointed out.  “Also a bunch of other cars and bicycle riders.”

Finally, as Ferguson was wrapping up his on-the-spot interview, a city police car rolled up, followed a short time later by a St. Louis city worker.

That allowed Ferguson to head off and complete his rounds, an unsung hero who saved dozens of drivers from flat tires, banged-up fenders, and possibly worse.

Meantime, the city worker said he had notified the Metropolitan Sewer District because of the close proximity of a sewer drain to the sinkhole, and he also noted that the road surface around the hole appeared to still be sinking as he set up orange traffic cones around the site.

He added that it looked like the same spot had been repaired fairly recently, sometime within the last five years.

It’s unknown how long repairs in the 2100 block of Chouteau will take.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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