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Sinkhole In Shopping Center Swallows Man and Motorcycle; Victim Might Not Be Compensated

An Augusta Georgia motorcyclist was hospitalized and his motorcycle is a total loss after crashing into a 15-foot deep sinkhole in a shopping center.

On Wednesday, January 31st, Don Merritt was riding his 1982 Honda to Target in the Augusta Exchange shopping center to exchange merchandise when he crashed into the sinkhole behind the stores. 

Merrit told the local television station, WJBF his story.  “So, I was going to go around the back to avoid the speed bumps and I remember making a turn and I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t remember,” 

The accident left him with a skull fracture, damaged shoulder, and a loose tooth. 

The City of Augusta says the property owner is responsible for the parking lot and Kimco Realty Corp., the property management company has not responded to local media's request for comment.  

Merrit said the tow bill to get his bike out of the hole cost $1,300.  Add that to the ambulance ride, and the hospital bills yet to come and he says this short ride could wind up costing him 6 figures or more.

Merrit says he's upset because he's been told the property owner knew about the hole but did not repair it.  

“It’s not good customer relations to have this thing hang out there. People knew about the hole and didn’t do anything about it.” Merrit told WJBF.  


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