A woman was left injured after she plunged straight into a 10ft sewage-filled sinkhole that she had mistaken as nothing more than a puddle.
Laura Gerber had been on a night out in Watford, Hertfordshire, when she stepped out of a car and straight into the sinkhole at around 2.30 am on March 12.
She injured her back and swallowed sewage water as she plummeted below the surface – she thought she would drown.
READ MORE: UK's sewage alley with poo exploding from drains and sickening stench in air
Laura said: “I stepped backwards to let someone else out of the car and dropped straight into a sinkhole. I hit my back on the way down and massively injured myself.
“If I have hit my head instead of my back and lost consciousness I would’ve gone under and due to the current below I would’ve gotten completely lost and never been found again”.
Laura added she is thankful she was the one who fell into the sinkhole as an elderly person or a child may not have had the strength to make it out.
Her boyfriend Jason Topping told the Watford Observer: “It’s not nice to say but luckily she hit her back so her arms went out and she stopped herself.
“If she didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have a girlfriend here today. As she put her hands to the side and managed to claw on and, in a miracle, climbed out.”
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Laura was taken to Watford General Hospital where she was treated for leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s disease.
The condition is spread through animal urine and can be life-threatening. It typically causes high temperatures, nausea, rashes and chest pain.
On Monday (March 13), Laura’s health took a turn for the worse as she vomited three times and could not stomach food.
Jason said: “I’ve never seen so much vomit come out of a woman.”
Laura was taken back to the hospital and was still there as of Tuesday (March 14).
She added: “‘I’ve always used the saying about life flashing before your eyes but honestly, my life has never flashed before my eyes like this before.”
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