Improper road hole cover totals vehicle in Omaha

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Days after a Benson couple's vehicle sustained an estimated $1,300 in damages from a hole in the road they say wasn't properly covered, a driver in South Omaha had even worse luck with a different cover.

Mari Gonzalez feels hung out to dry after a road repair blunder wrecked her precious "Sanic."

"I feel helpless. I feel bad for my car because it's special to me," said Gonzalez.

The blue roadster, properly named after a Sonic the Hedgehog video game character, hit a dead end last week.

Gonzalez got a panicked call from her dad, Thursday evening.

"He tells me, 'I hit something. I didn't see it. I don't know,’" Gonzalez remembers her dad saying over the phone.

At first glance, the vehicle seems in-tact and safe for the streets.

After her commute to work the next morning, Gonzalez realized she should've found another way to get there.

"Oh, this is not supposed to look like this,” said Gonzalez. "The rail is just like... inward."

The body of the vehicle is inverted, and the undercarriage is detached thanks to a damaged hole cover.

"It was dented, like curved, and so once the front tire went over it, the back kind of just flung up and pierced right through the car."

A steel slab covering a crater at the intersection of 32nd St. and Q St. totaled Gonzalez’s car.

Multiple repair estimates stand at close to $11,500.

"Literally, 'Holy s**t.' That's what the first one said, that's what the second said," Gonzalez told 6 News regarding car repair shop employees’ reactions. "Who pays for this? This wasn't our fault.”

A MP NexLevel worker drilled the hole to work on phone lines for Verizon Wireless, according to a city engineer.

After a representative told Gonzalez to send her a repair cost estimate, follow-up calls and emails have gone unheeded.

6 News reached out to the contractor and was told “I don’t have anything to say,” then the claims manager hung up.

"It's just ridiculous,” said Gonzalez. "They should be accountable for these things."