Backyard Sinkhole Tries to Swallow Up Family’s Motorcycle

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DURYEA, Pa. -- A sinkhole caused a lot of problems for one family in Luzerne County.

However, what they thought was a mine subsidence is likely something older and stinkier.

The backyard sinkhole in Duryea tried to swallow up a motorcycle. Janice Timek saw her husband struggling with his 800-pound bike.

“Oh, my God. Like how did that happen?” Timek said.

She said little by little, the ground started coming out from underneath them.

It took Janice, her son, her cousin, and her husband to get the motorcycle out.

“We see that the ground is going down, and I'm like, 'What the heck?' He got stuck more. The more he tried to pull it out, the more stuck he got,” Timek said.

Eventually, the family grabbed some boards to get the bike out.

"It just kept going down farther and farther and the more you tried to push the board under once the bike wheel hit it, it would just be taking more dirt down,” cousin Sherry Austin said.

Timek said she's really familiar with the property because it has been in her family for quite some time, but she had no idea about this hole 10 feet under the ground.

Originally, Timek thought it must have been a mine subsidence. She had the Office of Surface Mining take a look.

“He said, ‘Good news, it's not the mines. It isn't the mines at all,’ and I said, ‘Oh, thank God,’” Timek said.

It turned out her sinkhole is likely something else.

“He said it's probably like an old outhouse or something from years and years ago because my grandfather, as a matter of fact, he lived on this property in a row home,” Timek said.

The motorcycle has some damage from the whole ordeal, but Timek said her family is thankful it wasn’t any worse.

“You can replace a bike but you can't replace a life or something that's tragic if something happens to somebody,” Timek said.

The Timek family has contacted their insurance company to see if the cost of filling the hole is covered.


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