Mysterious man-made hole left on Belcher Road causes more than $1,000 in damage to car

Better Call Behnken

Clearwater, Fla. (WFLA) – Katherine Germano had just turned onto Belcher Road from Gulf to Bay Boulevard when she heard a loud bang.

“I thought I hit a dog or something, stopped the car, got out, didn’t see anything that I hit, but saw that my car was crooked and the car wasn’t running right.”

It turns out, she hit a man-made hole, perfectly cut into a square. It’s the kind of hole a worker might dig to make repairs to utilities under a roadway. Problem is, no one claims to know anything about the hole or how it got there.

And no one wants to repay Germano for the more than $1,000 in damage it caused to her Volkswagen Beetle. 

Germano has tried for a month to get answers and turned to Better Call Behnken for help. 

County employees quickly fixed the hole after Germano pointed it out. But as far as fixing her car goes, she’s been bounced back and forth from between Pinellas County and Clearwater.

While in the city of Clearwater, Belcher Road is owned by the county. Officials for both governments tell 8 On Your Side that they didn’t create this hole and know nothing about it. We called several utility companies and were told the same thing. 

County officials say companies doing any work under the road are supposed to file for a permit. A look at recent permits, however, has not produced the company or worker responsible, county officials say. 

Whoever did this did not follow proper protocol, however, the cut should be made, officials say, the repair should be made and then the hole covered for safety. It should never be left, as this one was, for motorists to drive over. 

8 On Your Side will continue to follow this story. 

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