A Decade Later, Deadly Sinkhole Resurfaces for the Third Time in a Bizarre Incident

“Tragic Sinkhole Incident Marks 10th Anniversary of Jeffrey Bush’s Disappearance on His 46th Birthday”

July 21 marks what would have been Jeffrey Bush’s 46th birthday, but his family continues to mourn his loss since the fateful night ten years ago. Back then, the ground suddenly gave way beneath his bedroom while he slept, engulfing him and his entire room into a 20 to 30-foot sinkhole that emerged without warning beneath their Seffner, Florida home.

In early July 2023, the heartbroken family faced another painful reminder as the sinkhole re-opened for the third time in the exact same spot. Jeffrey’s brother, Jeremy Bush, still haunted by the memory of his cries that night, expressed his difficulty in witnessing the “killer hole” resurface.

The tragedy occurred on February 28, 2013, when Jeffrey was asleep in his bedroom, located in a home belonging to Rachel Wicker, his brother Jeremy’s fiancée. The incident took place in Seffner, a small community near Tampa, Florida, with a population of less than 9,000. Jeffrey had moved in the previous month, joining his brother, Rachel, her daughter Hannah, and two other residents.

Around 11 p.m., Jeremy, then 36 years old, was preparing for bed when he heard a loud crash, akin to a car crashing through the house, followed by his brother’s desperate cries for help. Racing to Jeffrey’s room, Jeremy discovered a newly formed sinkhole in the ground, into which he instinctively jumped to try and save his brother. Despite his frantic efforts, the ground continued to collapse, and Jeffrey was tragically buried in the sinkhole.

Rescue teams worked tirelessly, but after 48 hours, they called off the search due to the unstable and unsafe conditions of the sinkhole, which had expanded in depth and width during the incident.

Florida, known for its prevalence of sinkholes, is susceptible due to its geological makeup—a peninsula built on porous carbonate rocks like limestone that store and move groundwater.

Since the incident, the homes where Jeffrey and his family lived, along with two neighboring houses, were demolished for safety reasons. The sinkhole was filled with a water-gravel mixture and the site was fenced off for safety. On the property now stands a plaque honoring Jeffrey’s life and the loss experienced by the Allen, Jaudon, and Wicker families.

Despite the passage of time, the pain remains fresh for Jeffrey’s family, who still grieve and remember him on his birthday every year. The re-emergence of the sinkhole serves as a poignant reminder of the tragedy that struck their lives a decade ago.

“The county code enforcement department’s director, Jon-Paul Lavandeira, assured the community that any reoccurrence of the sinkhole would be contained within a controlled area. He stated that there was no apparent danger to the neighboring homes, highlighting that such incidents are not uncommon.

While most sinkholes tend to be small, often found in parking lots and roadways, there have been larger occurrences in the past, such as the one that swallowed multiple cars, businesses, a home, and part of a swimming pool in Orlando back in 1981.

Regarding Jeffrey’s tragic fate, experts believe that his body might have been drawn into the water table beneath the surface, possibly resurfacing in the nearby Alafia River at some point. Another theory suggests that Jeffrey’s remains could be trapped in sediment within a 60-foot-tall water-filled void between the sinkhole and the bedrock. These speculations come from Philip van Beynen, an environmental scientist who has studied sinkholes extensively.

With the recent re-opening of the deadly sinkhole, Jeremy, Jeffrey’s brother, finds himself overwhelmed with painful memories. He vividly recalls the day of the incident as if it were yesterday. Jeremy tried desperately to rescue his brother, digging with his bare hands, but tragically, he could not save him. The haunting echoes of Jeffrey’s cries for help still ring in Jeremy’s ears, making it challenging to witness the sinkhole reappear again.

Jeremy visits the site regularly, considering it as his brother’s final resting place, where he can pay his respects. The emotional burden remains heavy, as he continues to hear Jeffrey’s calls for help, even after all these years.”

Related Posts