The man believes he's lucky to be alive.
A man in Central Virginia is lucky to be alive after he escaped falling into what he called "some type of sinkhole" below his porch, which left him dangling dangerously over the hole.
The man, KC Kelley, tells news sources that he had gone outside to clear snow from his car when his foot started to sink. It was nighttime, and he describes how he plunged into a hole in the dark, but didn't fall all the way down as he was able to use his shovel to stop his fall.
He describes using the shovel as a purchase to help him climb back out of the sinkhole.
A close call for a potentially fatal fall.
33-year-old Kelley described the incident in more detail to Newsweek, saying:
"My initial thought was that I'd stepped off the porch and sunk into a pile of snow, however I quickly realized I was still in the middle of the porch. I was carrying a shovel to clear the snow around the car and when I fell the shovel caught the top of the opening which allowed me to catch the edge of the hole."
As if these details weren't scary enough, Kelley goes on to further explain the moment he realized that he could really be in trouble:
"It was then I realized that I've fallen into some type of sinkhole and that from my chest down I was dangling into an unknown depth."
A near-death experience goes viral.
Kelley first reported about the incident in a Reddit post he published on January 17th, where he shared a picture of the sinkhole with the caption, "Welp, I almost fell into a sinkhole under my porch. I caught myself on the edge of the hole, from my chest down was just dangling beneath me."
The post has since gone very viral with 34,700 upvotes, and close to 1,000 comments. In the comment section, users shared similar stories of falling down holes unexpectedly, whether it be sinkholes, septic tanks, or manholes missing their cover.
Kelley went on to share more images with news sources of the inside of the hole, highlighting the frightening depth of the sinkhole which he states he believes is about 15 ft deep and 10 ft wide.
He added in a quote that the whole appeared to extend several feet underground.
After inspecting the sinkhole in the daylight, Kelley believed that the opening of the sinkhole had grown overnight.
Experts state that sinkholes are a very rare phenomenon, but are most common in areas where underneath bedrock are flowing waters that can slowly detach the rocks above until the ground sinks in. It is also reported that the most common areas for experiencing sinkholes are Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.