Persistent pothole has Marion shoppers looking for answers

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MARION, Ind. (WTHR) - Judging by the number of cars coming in and out of a shopping plaza where the Walmart sits on Southwestern Avenue in Marion, it seemed like the place to be on a Friday night.

"Everybody comes here," said Melissa Campbell, watching the traffic.

If you've come to the Walmart or any of the other stores in this plaza in the past three weeks, chances are, you've either seen a large pothole near the entrance to the parking lot, or possibly, felt its wrath.

"That pothole beat up my car. It won," said Campbell, who explained she's lost a brand-new front tire last week after hitting it.

"I was leaving Walmart. It was raining. It was dark. I was sitting at the light here, there was a line of cars," she said. "I started going and as soon as I seen it, it was either hit the hole or swerve into the other lane.

"And I hit the hole, my tire, my whole car shook, my tire blew," she finished.

She's not the only one.

"It's horrible. I've been waiting for it to get fixed. I almost hit it every day going to work," said Xavier Carson, who said he had hit the same pothole once, but his car came away unscathed.

"When I hit it, my car did scrape, but thank God, it didn't hurt nothing or damage anything," Carson explained.

Then, earlier this week, something else showed up where the pothole was.

Someone planted a tree, dirt and all, inside the hole. Word about the tree spread on Facebook.

"'Wow!' is all I could think," said Campbell of the addition to the pothole.

"It was just a little sapling. It wasn't that big. It's, maybe, a couple foot high," explained John Sollars.

"I was, like, who plants a tree in a pothole?" asked Carson.

"Only here in Marion, something like that would be done," said Sollars, laughing.

No one is really sure who planted the tree in the pothole in the first place, or who ultimately took it out. It's not there anymore.

One thing is for sure, though, drivers say the longer the pothole stays there, the more trouble its causing for drivers.

"The thing is huge and when there's traffic, there's nothing you can do but either hit it or hit the car next to you," said Campbell, shaking her head.

"My brother, several years ago, he hit a hole something similar to that and it shattered his knee," said Sollars, just as a car behind him hit the pothole and bottomed out.

"Hopefully it gets fixed soon, so we don't have to worry about it anymore," said Carson.

Until that happens though, the pothole's score keeps adding up, with drivers still at zero.

"It just takes hitting it one time and you're gonna fall right into it," said Campbell.

Eyewitness News reached out to both the City of Marion and the property owner to try to figure out who's responsible for filling the pothole. We're still waiting to hear back.