Exclusive: East Side Sinkhole Victim, Rescuer Reunited

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  • Video by wtmj.com

  • A sinkhole near Oakland and North in Milwaukee Image by @Mike_Thiel

MILWAUKEE - Construction crews were working Friday afternoon to remove a Cadillac Escalade from a giant sinkhole that opened up near Oakland and North on Milwaukee's east side on Thursday evening.

"Water was just rushing over the top of me," the driver said in an exclusive interview with TODAY'S TMJ 4.  "I knew I needed to do something quick or something bad was going to happen." 

Mark Pawlik, who was walking across the North Avenue bridge just seconds earlier, saw a nearby traffic light in the sinkhole and then spotted the Escalade headed right toward it.

"The Escalade just went wham!" he said. "Everything went down. The power line went like 'pow' and then I think it was sewer water was just pouring into the hole."

He didn't hesitate for a second.  The driver was able to climb onto the hood of his truck, and Pawlik pulled him to safety.

"I grabbed your hand, you looked at me like you weren't even in yourself," Pawlik told him when TODAY'S TMJ 4 reunited the two on Friday.  "You were yelling, 'Get me out of here!' "

Fortunately the driver suffered only minor cuts and bruises.

"I'm really, really grateful for helping me out," the driver told Pawlik 

"Right place, right time," he replied.