A woman has been hospitalised after she fell into a 10ft-deep sinkhole in a Watford road and swallowed sewage.

A sinkhole in Jubilee Road, near the junction with Leavesden Road, has since been drained but on Sunday night, when it first opened up, it looked “just like a puddle”.

After stepping out of a car after a night out at around 2.30am on Sunday (March 12) Laura Gerber, 23, fell through it and into the sewage.

Watford Observer: The sinkhole before and after drainingThe sinkhole before and after draining (Image: Laura Gerber/contribution)

“Her whole head went under, and she swallowed sewage water,” her boyfriend, Jason Topping, said.

“It’s not nice to say but luckily she hit her back so her arms went out and she stopped herself.

“If she didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have a girlfriend here today. As she put her hands to the side and manged to claw on and, in a miracle, climbed out.”

Watford Observer: Scrape along Laura's sideScrape along Laura's side (Image: Laura Gerber)

Laura then took to social media to warn people, after being discharged from a visit to hospital to get checked, as she was worried a child or an elderly person would have died if they fell in the "10ft-deep" hole instead.

She wrote: “As much as we were laughing (a bit too much if I’m honest) I just want to stress how serious this could’ve been.”

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However, today (March 13) she became seriously ill as she vomited three times and could not keep food down.

Jason, 26, added: “I’ve never seen so much vomit come out of a woman.”

After Laura was taken back to Watford General Hospital, Jason thought it would be “in and out”, but she has remained there “in a bad way” until time of writing.

The self-employed damp-proofer added: “Where we stand currently is a waiting game for all the results to come through.

“It’s my daughters first birthday in four days and we might be celebrating it without her.”

Watford Observer: Laura Gerber in Jubilee RoadLaura Gerber in Jubilee Road (Image: Laura Gerber)

He described what happened as two “near-death experiences” and an eye-opener about the risks of Leptospirosis - a disease spread through animals' urine that can cause various symptoms including being sick.

Jason said hospital staff believe that may be what has caused Laura's illness, but they are still doing tests to confirm it.