DENVER - Sheridan's city manager says the sinkhole that swallowed up a police SUV early Friday morning was caused by a pipe that burst underground.

Last night's storms overwhelmed the storm drain pipe and water started spewing under the surface, according to Devin Granbery.

"With last night's major storms, what we think happened is that it gave way at a connection between two different sized pipes," Granbery said.

The water saturated the ground which created a void that allowed the pavement to cave in, according to Granbery. The city manager said crews checked the piping both up and down stream to make sure this kind of collapse doesn't happen elsewhere.

Granbery added that he doesn't believe other drivers are at risk and that this was likely a one time incident.

Sheridan police said their supervisor's SUV was swallowed up by a massive sinkhole on West Oxford Avenue near River Point Parkway early Friday morning.


The incident happened at around 2:15 a.m. Friday when Sheridan police sergeant Greg Miller was on patrol, traveling eastbound on West Oxford Avenue near Natches Court.

When the Miller entered the intersection, the road gave way.

"The next thing I know... dirt. I'm assuming dust from the airbag was floating around and everything," Miller said. "I hear the rushing water, and all I see is a dirt wall in front of me."

The car ended up 10 to 15 feet below the road surface. Miller had to crawl out onto the roof and crawl out of the sinkhole.

"The door wouldn't open, so I had to crawl through the window," Miller said. "I reached up, grabbed the rails at the top of the roof, pulled myself up, got on top of the car, and that's when I reached up and pulled myself up out of the hole."

Miller was taken to Swedish Medical Center to be checked out but was released. The police car is a total loss.

West Oxford Avenue is closed from Santa Fe Drive to South Clay Street. There is no estimated time of reopening.

"I'd rather it be me than somebody - a citizen - driving down the road or kids in the car," Miller said. "Or, you've got two vehicles, and the other vehicle is on top of the other vehicle, and you've got even more injuries. You've got people trapped."

Police said there is an exposed gas line at the sinkhole and are telling people to stay away from the area. Police said there is no break in the line. Xcel is on the way to inspect the line and cut the gas flow.

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)