3-year-old helps save his mom from sinkhole

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) – Officials say a 3-year-old is credited for leading rescuers to the spot where his mother fell into sinkhole last week.

The incident happened beside South Hampton Street near Parkdale Baptist Church on Thursday afternoon.

Teresa Smith had taken her son, Hunter, with her to feed a neighbor's dog.  On the way, she slipped into sinkhole and couldn't get out.  She told Hunter to run home and tell family members about what happened.  Click to listen to the 911 call: Woman trapped in sinkhole.

Smith tried to call for help on her cell phone, but the message on the screen said she didn't have service in that area.

About 10 minutes later, Hunter came back where his mother was trapped and he had two relatives with him.

With the help of a passing neighbor, they were able to hoist Smith out of the hole.

She suffered minor injuries and was taken to Gaston Memorial Hospital.

Dale Denton, who works with Gastonia Public Works and Utilities Department, said the hole was about 18 inches by 24 inches and 5 feet deep.  City employees have since filled the hole with gravel.

Hunter is being called a hero, but he's just glad his Mom is safe.

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