Toddler nearly falls into large sinkhole that formed in front yard of Fair Lawn home

The child was playing on a splash pad at the time and nearly fell into the hole.

Amanda Eustice

Jun 25, 2024, 11:40 AM

Updated 25 days ago

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What started as a fun day in the sun on a splash pad for 20-month-old Josiah, quickly turned into a nightmare for his mother.
A sinkhole that was more than 10 feet deep formed underneath the splash pad the toddler was playing on Monday afternoon in the front yard of the family’s Fair Lawn home.
"It was like a really big pop. I thought the splash pad popped and I looked around and I just saw him almost go into the ground, so I immediately just pulled him out and my son was just crying. He was so scared," said Elyana Schuck.
Contractors have been called in to check out the sinkhole. Schuck says they're going to be bringing in excavators to rip up the entire front lawn and based on what they find, she says she’s worried she and her family will be forced out of their home.
"If it goes towards the house, we obviously have to relocate for the time being and if it's not, we can stay here until they do the construction," Schuck said.
But according to neighbors, this isn't the first time a sinkhole has happened in the borough or even on this block. Joe Nasso says his parents had one on their property just next door 20 years ago in a similar spot.
"The septic lid which was wood at the time, they said. The landscaper was cutting the lawn and literally fell through the lid into the hole and it was about 10 feet deep," said Nasso.
Nasso says they ended up filing the hole and haven't had a problem since. But it makes Schuck wonder if other properties might have the same problem.
"I couldn't even sleep last night. I had anxiety, kept having panic attacks. Just like re-thinking about the whole situation like the what ifs, if I wasn't watching him fully, you know? A new fear unlocked. You're not like safe. This is a safe spot, like I said now - Is he even safe being in my house?" said Schuck.
Fair Lawn police and borough officials were called to come and check out the sinkhole. News 12 reached out to borough officials for comment but did not hear back.


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