Sinkhole survivors' 911 call released

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Benjamin Hernandez, 15, was delivering newspapers with his mother when their car was swallowed by a sinkhole in unincorporated Burlington. (WLS)

Benjamin Hernandez, 15, was delivering newspapers with his mother when their car fell into a sinkhole in unincorporated Burlington.

Two days later, Hernandez remains hospitalized at Loyola Medical Center with his mother, San Juanita Pineda, 41, at his side.

"I never expect it. I never saw it. I remember hitting something and my car fell down. And that was it," Pineda, who was driving, said. Pineda's 911 call from the early Tuesday morning incident was just released.

"My son, he's having problems breathing," she tells the dispatcher. A pickup truck ran over Pineda's car after it fell into the sinkhole.

"Oh my God, no. Another car," she said on the 911 call.

"What just happened?" the dispatcher asked.

"I don't know. Another car just went," Pineda said.

The dispatcher finished the sentence. "Another car just got there and hit you?"

"Yes," Pineda said.

Irwin Moreno, the driver of the pickup truck, stopped, and came back to the scene. Their interaction is heard on the 911 call.

"Are you the officer?" Pineda asks.

"No, no. I just drove on top of you," Moreno said.

"Yes, you just went over me," she said.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Are you OK?" Moreno said.

"I felt it - that close - that it was going to fall on us," Pineda said of the ordeal. "But there is an angel watching over us."

Hernandez fractured his spine and broke his ribs, jaw, nose and right arm. He also broke off his front teeth and damaged his eye.

"I did not call 911 until I got him talking," Pineda said. "I am doing my best to hold on for him and he is doing his best. We are just lucky to be here. That is all I can say."

Emergency crews had to cut the roof of the car off to pull them out.

"It just happened so fast. All I remember is wrapping the paper and my mom waking me up, screaming for me to wake up. My mouth was full of blood," Hernandez said.

Pineda is a single mother of four who was already working two jobs. Now, she'll have to stay home to take care of her son, and she said she doesn't know how she will make ends meet.

Her car was destroyed.

Moreno had minor injuries.
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