A woman visiting her parents’ Long Island burial plot descended into more than despair — she sank hip-deep into their grave, a lawsuit claims.
In the real-life horror show, Joanne Cullen bent down to fix a bow on a wreath by the headstone when a sinkhole formed and began to “swallow” her up, according to court papers.
“It caused her to fall forward and smash her head on the tombstone,” cracking a tooth, her lawyer, Joseph Perrini, told The Post.
She then tried to “bounce back and she started sinking into the ground and grabbed the sides of the tombstone,” he said.
The stunned North Bellmore, Long Island, woman cried out for help, but no one in the graveyard could hear her screams.
The creepy calamity occurred at dusk on Dec. 19, 2016.
“Getting sucked into your parents’ grave when you go to visit them on a cool December afternoon with the sun going down … it’s terrifying and traumatizing,” the lawyer said.
Now it’s the St. Charles Resurrection Cemetery administrators’ turn to shiver in fear — after being hit with Cullen’s $5 million lawsuit in Queens Supreme Court.
The 64-year-old says the chilling incident in the Farmingdale graveyard — the final resting place of her bookkeeper mother, Evelyn, and roofer father, John — has left her an emotional wreck.
“I will never go back there again,” Cullen said through her attorney, adding she now fears walking in open fields and “has nightmares” and headaches. She also needs counseling now, the suit claims.
Perrini contends that gravediggers who backfilled a grave adjacent to Cullen’s parents’ left an underground void that caused Cullen to sink into the netherworld.
“It’s outrageous that this should happen to anybody,” the attorney said. “We want to make sure the cemetery and employees learn from this. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Cullen is suing St. John’s Cemetery Corp. — an arm of the Catholic Church’s Brooklyn Diocese — which manages St. Charles Resurrection. The cemetery is the final resting place for Oscar-nominated actor Vincent Gardenia and Wimbledon men’s doubles champion, Vitas Gerulaitis.
Date Posted: Monday, March 18th, 2019 , Total Page Views: 707
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