Pothole causes problems for drivers

News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Several people say they had a bumpy drive on I-74 East in Champaign County this morning. It damaged at least one car.

They say they are glad nothing worse happened to their cars, but one woman worries the damage will cost her hundreds.

“I hit something really hard,” Stephanie Hawkins said. “My car shook, there was a loud bang and then I heard a “pshhh” sound for a while and I was like that sounded like I just lost all the air in my tire.”

Some drivers had a rude awakening during their early morning commute.

“It was like a really hard impact,” Katie Thomas said. “It was really loud so strong that it actually popped windshield wipers on and flipped open the sunglass container.”

“I definitely thought I had completely messed up my car for sure and was just waiting for all the lights on the dashboard to start going off to indicate that something really wrong and so just glad there doesn’t seem to be,” Thomas said.

IDOT says they heard about the issue, investigated and found a pothole. They say they patched it quickly.

“Safety is always our top priority and always will be,” Paul Wappel, IDOT, said. “We want to make sure everybody gets from point A to point B safely.”

While Thomas didn’t find any exterior damage, she is still planning on getting her car checked out. Stephanie Hawkins wasn’t so lucky. Her tire popped and the rim was bent.

“I got out of the car and the passenger side tire was flat and it was dark so I couldn’t really tell, but it looked like there was a ridge in the rim and then my husband had the mechanic come get my car,” Hawkins said.

While she’s glad nothing worse happened, Hawkins expects she’ll be out a big chunk of money.

“Who do you blame? My insurance company isn’t going to pay when its less than $500 dollars damage so I’m out that money,” Hawkins said.

So what do you do if you find yourself in the same situation?

“If somebody suffers damage to their vehicle there is a process, they can file a claim through IDOT,” Wappel said.

IDOT says you can also call your insurance company to help with the process and Hawkins thinks she and Thomas may not be the only ones impacted by this.

“Chances are several people hit that and its done a lot of damage to vehicles,” Hawkins said.

For more information or to file a claim hit the link below:

https://idot.illinois.gov/travel-information/report-a-problem/claims/index

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