Woman injured after fall in parking lot hole

January 20, 2010 9:46:16 PM PST
A local woman is demanding answers, all for what happened as she was headed to a bar on Washington Avenue last month. We found out it's a problem that has not been taken care of. Starting tomorrow, this parking lot will be full of cars every night through the weekend. People pay $10 and from here they can hit a number of establishments in the area.

On any weekday afternoon, this parking lot on Washington is empty which makes it easy to see the hazard, especially since it's now marked by an old tire.

"There was nothing on it," said Torri Drennen.

She wishes it had been there last month.

"I was all the way in it up to here, at least up to here," she said, pointing to her waist.

Torri had just parked her car for a night out with a friend. It was dark and rainy. The whole parking lot was wet and a large hole was full of water. A few steps later, her night was ruined.

"When I stepped with this foot, I went forward and I caught my elbow on the side here, so I was this deep. My elbow was on the parking lot. I was trying to push myself out of the hole. My friend had to come to pull me out of the hole," said Torri.

That was December 23. It is still uncovered and even on a dry day like yesterday, the hole still holds plenty of water, maybe three feet. Torri believes a tire covering it isn't good enough.

"If my son was walking through here and fell into that hole, it's going to be over his head. He could drown," said Torri.

According to Harris County property records, the owner is a limited partnership which offices out of a building just a few blocks away. No one responded to our three requests for comment.

"Had she not caught herself with her elbows, she may still be in the hole," said Torri's attorney.

Torri is now working with an attorney. She hopes to repair the ugly scar on her shin.

"It's about six inches long, here to here. My elbow was bleeding. My hip was bleeding," said Torri.

But what she really wants is action.

"It should have been covered before anything happened, before I fell in it. It should have been covered," she said.

We did contact the city's neighborhood protection department and because of the call the chief inspector was alerted. We're told someone will come out and take a look at the problem and if it persists, the property owner will be cited. It could cost the owner a fine of up to $2,000.