Manual Windows Saves Couple After Sinkhole Swallows Jeep

A red 2015 Jeep Patriot in a sinkhole.
A red 2015 Jeep Patriot in a sinkhole.

Modernity has failed us. Sure, electric windows are more convenient, but one couple in Vancouver, Washington, found out last week after old-school manual crank windows saved their lives.

Maybe your awful uncle who says, “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” was right. Early in the morning on January 20, a sinkhole filled with water opened up in the middle of the street and swallowed Kevin Noel’s Jeep Patriot, with himself, and his girlfriend Katlynn Bickness, inside.

Read more


“Like a rollercoaster,” is how Katlynn Bicknell, Noel’s girlfriend, describes the couple’s sudden plunge.

Water rushed into the Jeep, filling the front seat, and Bicknell said she panicked, opening the door to try to quickly escape. The weight of the water pushed back, though, and the door slammed shut, catching Bicknell’s leg and foot. Noel then reached from inside the Jeep and pushed, holding the passenger door open and allowing Bicknell to escape. He then rolled down his window manually and climbed to the surface through the gap.

Noel was only driving about 10 mph when his car hit the ruined road which also helped save their lives as the Jeep didn’t fully plunge into the sinkhole. Instead, it stayed perched at the top, facing down at a steep angle, as you can see in the picture.

Emergency responders arrived soon after the couple called 911, and maintenance workers were able to remove the jeep from the hole, repair the water main and fill in the sinkhole within 12 hours of the incident. Not too shabby.

The Jeep is unfortunately trashed, and Noel and Bicknell are both pretty shaken up, according to the paper. Bicknell’s advice to people who may be this unlucky in the future: Don’t panic and carry a window breaker, just in case.

More from Jalopnik

Sign up for Jalopnik's Newsletter. For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.