CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Hundreds of dollars in damages. That's how much a Cape Coral woman had to pay to get her car fixed after she accidentally ran over an uncovered storm drain. She wants the city to pay for it, but the city says no way.
"It was the biggest bang you had ever heard!" That's how Cape Coral reisdent Christina Consolino describes driving over this storm drain.
At the time, it was a gaping hope in the ground because the grate had fallen in. Her ten year old daughter was in the car.
"Everything, all the compartments opened up, glasses came flying everywhere, my daughters breakfast went flying..she had a headache!" she said.
Firefighters told her the tire was ready to blow. She had to have her car towed away. Fixing it cost her $280.00. She wants the city to pay her back, but a plea for help hit a dead end. "Right away, she said, its been denied, and your's will be too," she explained.
The city's risk management tells us:
“We investigated the citizen’s claim. The City was unaware of a problem with the storm drain grate at this location. As soon as the City was noticed, the grate was replaced the same day. For a claim to be valid, the City must have been made aware of a problem and failed to take action within a reasonable time period.”
But that doesn't settle well with Consolino. "I've lived here for quite a long time now, and nothing has ever happened. But then the first time something does happen? Like this, you would think we would be taken care of," she said.
She's determined to make her case heard and is not giving up. She is considering going before Cape Coral's city council. "I really think that people should stand up for themselves," she said.
Another man drove over the open storm drain right after her. The impact ripped out a section of his emergency break. He was able to hold it in his hand. But the city has not compensated him, either.