Lightning does strike twice in the same place, and so does the WSSC. Sometime before 3:30 pm Tuesday afternoon May 8, the second time since January 4, a contract crew working for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission abandoned work in progress in the west-bound lane of the 9700-block of Murkirk Rd (near Montpelier Mansion), leaving a dangerous tank trap 6 feet long, 10 feet across, and 4 inches deep -- without any traffic control barriers, signs or cover plates. See pictures below
A cast-iron pipe stuck up 8 inches above street level -- but not for long. One of the first cars to fall into that hole clipped off the cast-iron pipe, which severely damaged the car's axle, according to the young driver who can't afford to get his car fixed because he can only afford the legally required liability insurance (to protect other drivers) not collision insurance to protect himself.
One resident spent 3 hours waving at cars coming at speed from the very nearby Rt. 197 intersection, to slow them down to avoid further vehicle damage or personal injury. He called WSSC and DPW&T but after over one hour no one had responded to the scene. Then he called County Councilman Dernoga's office. After Dernoga's office called WSSC, the WSSC finally sent out a work crew to assess the situation and then sent a second truck which covered the excavation with asphalt by 6 pm, before dark when the situation would surely have become even more dangerous (as it did on January 4) .
It is inconceivable that a work crew would abandon work in progress leaving such a dangerous situation -- not only once but twice at the same location. There is something seriously wrong with the standard operating procedures for WSSC's road work contractors.
If you were injured or your car damaged at that WSSC work site on May 8, most auto insurance policies will cover your damage or injury and subrogate payment by the WSSC so your deductible payment will be reimbursed to you. But if you need other compensation beyond your own insurance coverage, contact the WSSC's claims representative, Phil Sherman, 301 206-7094. If that doesn't work, contact the office of County Councilman Dernoga