Woman describes sinking into hole of quicksand-like soil

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PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.,None — What started off as a routine morning walk around Lake McIntosh turned into a struggle to escape what felt like quicksand to a Peachtree City woman.

Suzanne Maiden said she was out to feed the geese down near Lake McIntosh.

Lake McIntosh is Peachtree City's new reservoir that is still under construction. The land has been cleared but it has not yet been filled with water.

Maiden said she's walked the area dozens of times over the past year and a half, but on Sept.11, she said she got stuck in the marshy soil.

"About up to my shins. I thought 'gosh, I hope nobody sees me. I'm just really embarrassed, and I'll hit bottom,'" she said. "I never hit bottom. I just kept sinking."

Maiden said she went from ankle deep to waist deep in the hole. From memory she said she could see Planterra Ridge Golf Club's clubhouse within view directly ahead and her Planterra Ridge subdivision to the left.

"The deeper I got there was a suction on my athletic shoes," Maiden said.

She could have panicked but said that's when she made a decision that may have saved her life.

"Something said 'Suzanne, stop fighting it. Distribute your weight," she recalled. "I very slowly inched my way out. I didn't struggle."

After making it out, she said her relief turned to concern that others, especially children who play in the area, may get stuck as well.

She said children often walk the area looking for stray golf balls.

Maiden said that there is not enough protection for residents and not enough warning signs in the area.

Channel 2's Carl Willis asked the county administrator for Fayette County about the safeguards.

Willis asked Jack Krakeel, "Do you need to put some more signs more barriers out there?"

"We have and are in the process of putting more signage around the perimeter since this incident. We thought we had sufficient signage," Krakeel said.

Still, the county administrator also said he thought it was clear that Lake McIntosh is still a work in progress and a potentially dangerous place at the moment.

"Why she ventured out into a construction zone, she can only answer that question," Krakeel said.

"If signs were posted saying to keep out, or some of this area could be dangerous, or there's known to be quicksand, I would have never walked down there," Maiden said.

Krakeel said inspectors are searching the site for the exact location where the incident happened.

He said they have not been able to find a location that matches Maiden's description.