Giant sinkhole nearly swallows cars on dealership lot

SUGAR CREEK, Mo. - A broken pipe and giant sinkhole are creating a big problem for one metro business.

"Pretty gnarly hole, pretty deep," said Mark Cosgrove when describing the sinkhole in the middle of his car dealership parking lot in Sugar Creek. 

The Best Buy Car Company has been a family owned dealership along 24 highway since the late 1980's.  Cosgrove says he has never had a serious problem like the kind that happened Labor Day weekend. That is when an underground storm sewer pipe broke during heavy rains.

"It was pretty crazy," Cosgrove said. 

The storm sewer pipe carries water runoff from Independence, under 24 highway in front of his dealership, under his business and off to a nearby river.  Cosgrove contacted several jurisdictions including Sugar Creek, Independence and the Missouri Department of Transportation. Then, he contacted Call For Action.

"We've called every agency that we can think of… They just say it is our responsibility," he said. 

Just who is responsible for fixing and paying for the break is still uncertain. 

The Sugar Creek city attorney said the responsibility falls with the property owner when the break happens on private property.

However, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which oversees storm water issues, sent a representative to the dealership to inspect the problem after being contacted by Call For Action.

"Since you guys contacted DNR, they have got the ball rolling, actually have people come out and look at the problem," added Cosgrove. 

With several agencies now involved, it could take several weeks before the DNR knows its next move. Call For Action will continue to follow and report any developments.

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