Update: Sinkhole Swallows Seffner Man Sleeping In Bed

Officials are on the scene and believe the man is dead.

BRANDON, FL -- A local man is believed to be dead after being swallowed by a sinkhole Thursday night, Feb. 28.

Jeffrey Bush, 36, was asleep in bed around 11 p.m. when the ground opened up beneath his home at 240 Faithway Dr., Seffner, and swallowed him, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.

"It's a movie scene behind there," said McKinnon. "That's what it is."

McKinnon said Bush's mother was asleep in another room when she heard a loud crunching sound. When she rushed to her son's room, she saw that the entire floor had caved in and her son was gone.

Bush's younger brother, Jeremy, 34, said he could hear his brother screaming from inside the hole. He dove in, trying to find his brother as the hole continued caving in.

Deputy Douglas Duvall arrived on the scene and was able to grab Jeremy Bush before he was engulfed as well.

At a press conference, an emotional Jeremy Bush talked about his efforts to save his brother.

"We heard a loud crash. I ran in there. I heard somebody screaming, my brother screaming. And I ran in there and all I could see was this big hole, all I could see was the top of his bed. I didn't see anything else. So I jumped in the hole and tried digging him out. And I couldn't get him out. All I could hear was him screaming, hollering for me. I couldn't do nothing."

Jeremy Bush said he didn't think twice about risking his own life to help his brother.

"I didn’t care. I just wanted my brother," he said.

Officials are now searching the sinkhole for signs of life. The opening reportedly is 20- to-30-feet wide at the top, with a 100-foot safety zone estabished.

Neighboring homes have been evacuated by authorities although the sinkhole is confined to only the Bush home.

The family says the home has never had an issue with sinkholes.

There were five people in the home at the time, including a 2-year-old child.

"It's a giant cavern," said McKinnon.

Brandon Patch Editor Linda Chion Kenney has been on the scene, reporting developments as they occur.


BRANDON PATCH SEFFNER SINKHOLE COVERAGE (Through April 4, starting with the most recent posts):

  • Video: Inside the 'Catastrophic' Seffner Sinkhole
  • Seffner Saga Continues With 4th Sinkhole Report
  • 3rd Seffner Sinkhole Increases Community Concerns
  • Another Sinkhole Opens in Seffner
  • Community Aids Displaced Seffner Sinkhole Victims
  • Memorial Announced for Sinkhole Victim
  • Jaudon Family Displaced in Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy
  • HuffPost Live Looks at Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy: 'Saving Us From Sinkholes'
  • Seffner Sinkhole Video: 'In a Flash It Happens and the Whole World's Changed'
  • Video: Final Walls Come Down on Seffner Sinkhole at 240 Faithway Drive
  • 2nd Seffner Sinkhole Under Investigation as Stabilization Work Continues
  • Seffner Sinkhole Homeowner: 'God Has a Plan'
  • Seffner Sinkhole Victim Officially 'Presumed' Deceased
  • Readers React to Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy
  • Family Treasures Salvaged from Seffner Sinkhole Demolition
  • Demolition Under Way at Seffner Sinkhole Site
  • More Photos From the Seffner Sinkhole Site
  • Seffner Sinkhole Operation Readies for Impending Demolition
  • 3rd Home 'Compromised' at Seffner Sinkhole Site; Relief Fund Established
  • Video: Deputy Douglas Duvall Recounts Seffner Sinkhole Heroics
  • Situation 'Extremely Unsafe' at Seffner Sinkhole Site
  • Family Member Recalls Horror of Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy
  • Photos From the Scene of Sinkhole in Seffner
  • Video: Hillsborough Fire Chief Discusses Seffner Sinkhole
  • Hillsborough County Among Top 10 Sinkhole-Prone Florida Counties
  • Update: Sinkhole Swallows Seffner Man Sleeping in Bed
  • Video of Deputy Who Worked To Save Men From Sinkhole
  • Video: Fire Chief Answers Questions             


Lori March 02, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I had a huge sink hole in my back yard a few years ago...half of my pool was in it couldn't find the pump it was so deep...Thank God it happened when we were sleeping and my girls and I weren't in OUR POOL!!
Lori March 02, 2013 at 08:22 PM
BTW I live in Ct....so sorry for this family...such a horrible freak thing to happen :(
Raul Florido March 02, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Something similar happened years ago when the wife heard a noise downstairs, sent her husband to investigate, he fell into a sinkhole in the living room and was killed. All floors are not constructed the same way. In Florida, they pour concrete on top of poured sand to make the slab without floor joists. I suspect that these homes might have been built over a landfill of garbage from Tampa and neighboring communities, but we probably will never be told if that happens to be true.
ritavon March 02, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Jen it is so refreshing to know there are contractors out there that have a concience. I hope you build in my community.
Contact: Brandon@Patch.com March 03, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Folks, a lot of comments noted, and questions posed here, have been raised and addressed as well in subsequent Brandon Patch articles on the Seffner Sinkhole incident. I've added the links to this post and will continue to update them as time goes on.


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