Candlelight Vigil One Year After Seffner Sinkhole Brings Community Together

By Tamas Mondovics

Family and friends gathered for a vigil at the site of the sinkhole that swallowed and killed 37-year-old Jeffrey Bush, one year ago last month in Seffner.

The incident at 240 Faithway Dr. drew national attention as the massive sinkhole, measuring close to 30 ft. across at the top and as much as 60 ft. deep, took the life of Bush as well as one of the bedrooms. In the end, the entire home as well as the two homes adjacent to it had to be razed.

On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy (Friday, February 28), family, friends, law enforcement and local government officials reflected on the event while honoring the life lost at the site. Loved ones shared hugs, tears and left flowers and candles at the  tombstone at the site which bears Bush’s name where the three homes used to stand.

Bush’s brother, Jeremy, told reporters the realization that his brother’s body will never be recovered and the sinkhole was to become Jeffrey’s last resting place was hard to accept.

“I feel that they could have done more to get my brother out of there,” Jeremy said. “I hope that perhaps a tombstone or a bench would remain at the site and serve as a memorial.”

That is just what county officials are now in the process of trying to accomplish. Following a recent public meeting with local residents and the approval of the Hillsborough County Commission, efforts are underway to purchase the three lots surrounding the sinkhole, to which owners have agreed.

“We do not yet own the properties, but we are working with the owners to finalize the deal,” said Hillsborough County Park, Recreation and Conservation Director Jack Carlisle. 

He said that residents have expressed positive response toward a conservation, which is now being reviewed along with the family’s request.

The proposed memorial will likely include a fence, some trees and a small memorial which will be monitored by the county along with regular inspections.

Once completed, the site may provide as much honor and dignity possible for what happened. For more information, visit hillsboroughcounty.org.