Matt Chapman was out of places to turn.
“Until I called you guys at NBC, I was getting the run around getting bounced from one agency to another. And finally you put me in touch with National Grid and they stepped up to the plate and paid for everything,” he said.
After a crash damaged his car and his cell phone, Chapman finally got results thanks to the NBC Boston Investigators.
Back in February, Chapman drove over an open manhole on Dascomb Road in Andover on his way home.
“I was just traveling about 15 miles per hour and I heard a ‘ka-boom’ and the whole car shook and it was a really loud bang,” he said in an interview shortly after the crash.
In the dark and in a snowstorm, he got out of his Kia to see what he had hit.
“I’m walking and all of a sudden my leg just dropped out from underneath me and I was just falling into something and I was clawing and my cell phone went flying off into the snow,” Chapman said.
He had hit an open manhole.
When he got out, he almost fell in to rushing water just feet below, and there was no ladder to climb out.
“Imagine if I’d fallen into that water. I’d have been swept away and they would have found my car and wondered where I went,” he said.
Afterward, he contacted the town of Andover and heard nothing. Same with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and National Grid, which owns the manhole.
But after The Investigators did a story last month, National Grid changed its tune.
“They are going to pay for my rental car, all the damage to my vehicle, they are replacing my cell phone - so everything,” Chapman said Tuesday.
After the first few calls, Chapman said he thought he was going to get nowhere. But his last call made the difference.
National Grid said it had no further comment.
If you hit a dead end with a company, with your town government, or with the state, call our NBC Boston Responds hotline at 888-521-NEWS.