It was already a bad day for the lorry driver. Firstly, he had found himself travelling along a road weakened by water from a burst main below.
Then the front wheel of his truck had got stuck axle-deep in a hole after the road collapsed beneath the vehicle. As the driver tried to shift his trapped truck, things went from bad to worse.
A traffic warden turned up. And rather than offer sympathy, she issued him with a parking ticket.
A small crowd of astonished onlookers gathered to watch as the driver tried in vain to explain his predicament - but the jobsworth warden just shrugged and told him he could appeal against the fine.
Sue Melkman, who took the picture outside her home in Belsize Park, North London, said: 'It's crazy. There was water everywhere. It was obvious what had happened but she still wrote the ticket.'She wouldn't engage in conversation. All she would say was, "You can appeal".
'It's the daftest decision. How can you give a ticket to someone who's stuck in a hole? The woman must live in a parallel universe. It's so ridiculous.
'Everyone was laughing at her and a few were taking pictures on their phones. I told her she'd be a laughing stock and it would be in the local paper but she didn't reply. She just wrote the ticket and off she went.
'The poor driver tried to reason with her, but what can you do? If they're going to write a ticket they just do it. He took it very philosophically.'
The incident happened last Friday morning after engineers from Thames Water had decided not to put cones around the bulging, cracked patch of road after inspecting it the previous day, Mrs Melkman said.