A 73-year-old woman wants to thank the Good Samaritans who came to her rescue after she fell through a sidewalk on Ross Street.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Juanita Siegfried had just left Gaetz United Church and was began walking along Ross Street on her way to lunch with friends.
Siegfried said she had one foot on the cement and the other on a “patch job” when she fell near 4730 50th St.
“My feet went through so I plummeted down to the crotch level,” she said. “It wasn’t funny. It was a terribly frightening thing.”
Siegfried said her friends and a couple of senior men tried to pull her out. They tried for several minutes.
“But there was no way they could (lift me) or one would have gone down in the hole, too,” said Siegfried. “That hole had to go eight to 10 feet down.”
A young couple driving by stopped and came to Siegfried’s aid.
“The young guy, he just lifted me out, which was really wonderful,” said Siegfried. “In all the commotion, I didn’t ask their names. Hopefully they might read this. I want to thank them.”
Siegfried said she thanked them quickly at the car but she wanted to do more.
Later that afternoon, she got checked out at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. She had X-rays on her lower back because it had bothered her since the fall. There were no broken bones but Siegfried is now taking pain medication.
Siegfried said fortunately she and her two friends were not walking side by side or they would have all taken a fall.
“That did frighten me badly thinking about it later,” she said.
Siegfried said she talked to the city and she will not be pursuing any legal action. She said there were no signs and the area should have been taped off better.
The city had excavated the area to repair the damage from a water leak in a line in late February.
“There must have been some frozen material that had gone back in there and then unfortunately a void developed,” said Tom Warder, Environmental Services manager. “When she stepped on it, it gave away.”
The city has gone back twice to re-excavate and check for any other frozen materials. In the spring or early summer, the sidewalk will be replaced.