Van swallowed by Santa Cruz mountain road

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS (KGO) -- A blue box van remains wedged in what remains of a Santa Cruz County mountain road after the storm damaged area suddenly collapsed. The driver apparently never saw the gaping hole.

RELATED: ABC7 News photographer describes terrifying landslide experience

Crews have been working through the night to clean up a mudslide that caused major traffic delays on Highway 17 Wednesday night.

On another road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a van went nose first into a sinkhole.

The scene is almost surreal--a bright blue van wedged end to end in a sinkhole, stranded. The scenario--too precarious for a tow truck to do its job.

"I saw the screech marks, skid marks, whoever. They saw it but just couldn't stop," said neighbor Greg Scoby.

"I might have just gone into that ditch too," said his wife Dana. "It was foggy, hard to see--flat. How would you know?"

It could have easily been Dana in that hole. She'd driven the same stretch about an hour before the road opened up and swallowed the van Tuesday night.

Neighbors believe the driver is okay. Their main concern now is getting around.

"It's gonna be a while before we get to use this road to go to town," said Scoby. "And so hopefully the other only road out of here says open."

All anyone can do is hope. Most Santa Cruz Mountain roads are at risk because of all the rain. Highway 17 is certainly not immune. Northbound lanes are still closed because of a second mudslide near Vine Hill Road.

RELATED: ABC7 News van wrecked by mudslide on Highway 17 near Scotts Valley

Traffic is forced to inch by, one lane in each direction, but no matter how bad it gets locals love living here.

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