PLANT CITY, Fla. - Using her cell phone, Carla Chapman desperately tried to call for help, but she kept losing her signal. So in what she thought was her last chance, she punched in 911 and then threw the phone out of the sinkhole where she was trapped.
911 - "911 emergency. do you need police, fire or ambulance?"
Carla Chapman - "I'm in the ground!!"
911- "You're in the ground?"
Carla Chapman - "Somebody help me!!"
That is just a portion of a disturbing 911 call from Carla Chapman as she struggled to stay above ground while sand and clay enveloped her body and crushed down on her lungs.
Carla had fallen into a sink hole on the side of her house on Berry Blossom Lane in Plant City.
With no one home, she started calling everyone she could to get an answer. The 911 call did go through, as did an earlier call to her husband, Keith, who in turn called 911 and let them know where she was.
When Plant City Police Officer William Osmanski got to her home all he could see were her fingertips above the sink hole. Carla says he grabbed hold of her with a powerful Marine grip.
Over the police two-way system you can hear Officer Osmanski arrive and comfort Carla, "All right," he says. "All right sweetheart. All right. I got ya."
It was Officer Osmanski's strong hands that kept Carla from slipping under that most likely saved her life.
As for Carla, she is shaken up but physically fine.
Her husband Keith told us this is not the first time they have had to deal with a sinkhole and not the first time Carla has fallen into one.
Just about a year ago, on the other side of the house, Carla fell in and was stuck for close to two hours until a neighbor heard her yell and came and got her out.
Carla and Keith tell us since that time they have been trying to get their insurance company to take care of the problem, but as witnessed by their latest close encounter, they are still waiting.
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Southbound I-275 has been reopened after a crash near the Dale Mabry closed the highway for about a half-hour.