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Lantana gas station accused of having water in fuel pumps

'I really only got $8 of gas and it was all water,' unsuspecting driver says
Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 00:22:55-04

LANTANA, Fla. — Tia McDonald drove her 2017 red Chevrolet Camaro to the Sunoco on Dixie Highway in Lantana to get gas. She was heading back home to New Smyrna Beach after attending a weekend wedding, but she didn't get very far.

"We drove a mile and then my car just completely started shaking and rumbling," she said. "It was, like, the scariest shake I'd ever experienced."

McDonald said the problem was with the gas.

"I really only got $8 of gas and it was all water," she said.

McDonald said the car eventually shut down and they were forced to walk a mile back to the gas station. She said she spoke with the owner.

"He wouldn't give me any insurance," she said. "He wouldn't really give me any answers."

McDonald filed a report with the Lantana Police Department. Police Chief Sean Scheller said his department "received a few complaints from that location."

WPTV made several attempts to speak with the owner but each time was told no one was available. When WPTV showed up at the station, the pumps had bags over the nozzles.

Jay's Automotive mechanic Hanson Morris said water in a gas tank can be disastrous.

"It's the potential to damage the fuel pump, fuel injectors -- there's even a potential to lock the motor," he said.

McDonald said the tow back home was $500 and the work so far on her car is about $1,300.

"I really hope that my car isn't completely ruined," she said.

Anyone who thinks they have had a similar issue can file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture.