Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 13-095

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • March 4, 2013
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Sinkhole Death Investigation

    Deputy saved victim's brother from the collapsing sinkhole.
    • Thursday
    • February 28, 2013
    • Time: 11:00 PM
    • 240 Faithway Drive
    • Seffner, Florida


    Jeffery Bush
    DOB: 07/21/1975
    240 Faithway Drive
    Seffner, Florida


    On February 28, 2013, at 11 p.m., Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from 240 Faithway Drive in Seffner, that a bedroom inside a residential home had collapsed and an occupant was trapped under the house.

    Deputy Douglas Duvall a five year veteran with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene. Once he arrived, he immediately went inside the residence and was met by family members who directed him to a back bedroom.

    As Deputy Duvall entered the bedroom, he observed a gaping sinkhole in the floor that covered the entire bedroom. He observed Jeramy Bush, DOB: 02/18/1977 inside the sinkhole that was approximately 16-20 feet deep and was still rapidly collapsing.

    Jeremy Bush jumped in the sinkhole moments before Deputy Duvall arrived in order to save his brother Jeffery Bush who was in bed sleeping at the time the sinkhole opened up swallowing up Jeffery and everything inside the bedroom.

    As the sinkhole continued to rapidly collapse, Deputy Duvall risked his own life by remaining at the rim of the sinkhole as he reached down and grabbed Jeramy Bush by the hand and pulling him to safety. This heroic action by Deputy Douglas Duvall without question saved Jeramy Bush's life.

    Deputy Duvall and Jeramy Bush fled from the home but were unfortunately unable to rescue Jeffery Bush who remained inside the sinkhole. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) arrived on scene and sealed off the home due to the extreme danger of the sinkhole expanding and potentially fatality endangering any further responding personnel.

    During the next 36 plus hours, personnel with HCFR along with experts in the field of sinkholes and use of underground mapping ground penetrating radar equipment made a gallant and exhaustive effort attempting to rescue Jeffery Bush or recover his remains.

    On March 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers halted all recovery efforts based on the totality of circumstances he has previously publicly released.

    Hillsborough County Sheriff's detectives then launched a death investigation and conducted interviews with fire personnel and others involved in this incident. Detectives have consulted with the Hillsborough County Medical Examiners Office and have concluded that based on all data of the incident collected thus far including depth of the sinkhole as well as composition of the soil and water; there is no environmental conditions inside the sinkhole that could sustain human life and along with the opinion of Medical Examiner's Office, Jeffery Bush is presumed deceased.

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