Man falls in uncovered central Toledo manhole

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A Toledo man survived a scare Monday morning after he fell several feet into a manhole in central Toledo.

The cover to the manhole was missing and 27-year-old Gregory Johnson fell about 10 feet into the very tight and extremely dark sewer line manhole in the 2200 block of Collingwood Boulevard.

Johnson told police he was texting and walking when he took the unexpected plunge just after 2 a.m. Monday morning.  Although he suffered minor injuries, police say the accident could have been worse.

"If he didn't have a cell phone, this could've been much worse," said TPD Sergeant Joe Heffernan. "Thankfully he did and we were able to find out where he was."

Toledo Fire and Rescue were able to get Johnson out of the manhole.

Police are continuing their investigation into what happened to the manhole cover. One possibility that they are considering is that someone had stolen the manhole cover and sold it for scrap. City officials say the heavy cover was in place when they last checked it on Friday.

"Not sure how this lid came up missing or why it came up missing," said David Pratt, Commissioner of Toledo's Sewage and Drainage. "Somebody had to put some effort into it to get this lid that was here out."

Johnson was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. He's expected to be alright. Crews have placed a temporary lid over the manhole as well as a construction barrel.  A permanent manhole cover will be placed at the sight soon.

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