ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- In the Nation's Oldest City, the streets are old, narrow and dangerous.

"I was leaving work and went from fifteen miles an hour to zero abruptly," said Ralph Gearhart.

Gearhart, a chef, was heading home when he drove his Ford Ranger into a sinkhole on Charlotte Street.

"It was scary," he said. "The air bags went off and water was coming in the cab."

Gearhart filed a report and a claim with the city for damages. It was denied.

"We are disappointed," said Vanessa Gearhart. "We should be made whole."

Ronald Brown is the attorney for the city of St. Augustine.

"Unfortunately, we are not liable," said Brown.

There was a similar incident November 2011, on the same street, but Brown said that does not matter.

"We have laws to protect the taxpayers," said Brown, "If we didn't know beforehand, we are not liable."

Gearhart only had minimum insurance coverage on his truck, no collision, so his insurance will not pay for repairs.

"I think we should be made whole," said Vanessa Gearhart, "He was driving home from work went he drove into a sinkhole."

The hole that swallowed the front of his pickup was caused by a broken water main; it has since been repaired.

The only other remedy is for the Gearharts to sue the city in small claims court.