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» »Unlabelled » Two killed after driving into massive hole in flooded road

(Reuters) - Two South Dakota motorists died on Tuesday after they drove separately into a massive hole in a roadway washed out by heavy rains, and both vehicles were swept downstream by rushing water, police said.

Heavy rains opened a section of road 10 miles north of Reliance, South Dakota, about 60 feet wide and 50 feet deep that was obscured partly by an uphill grade, said Lieutenant Alan Welsh of the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

The vehicles plunged into the crevice and down into a normally dry creek bed that had been swollen by up to 6 inches of rain, Welsh said. The creek bed flows toward the Missouri River east of where the crashes occurred.

Both of the motorists were from nearby towns. Police identified them as a 56-year-old Chamberlain woman who was found in her vehicle about 100 yards from the crash site and a 61-year-old Lower Brule woman found four miles downstream.

State transportation officials have closed the road.

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