The driver was rescued by local resident Ryan Rickerby as he was left clinging to the side of the 50ft deep hole created by the collapse.
To watch a video of the collapse captured by the local paper the Times & Star click here
Neighbour Judith Smith said: “There was a huge rumble and the ground just opened up and took everything with it.
“The man’s machine went into the hole and although he managed to jump out and was clinging to the edge of the hole and shouting for help, he was still attached by a wire to the machine and it was pulling him under.
“Ryan saw what was happening from his window, and ran from his home – not thinking about his own safety – and unclipped the man from the machine and saved him.
“He’s a hero in my eyes.”
Copeland Borough Council said: “We have been working intensively for some months to monitor movement related to an historic mineshaft in Egremont and yesterday we began work to fill and cap the shaft.
“During the works yesterday there was a slump in the land around the top of the shaft. Thankfully nobody was injured but some equipment fell into the hole. We ceased work and closed off the area for safety reasons.
“Eight households have been evacuated as a precaution whilst the immediate investigation continues.
“We are working with specialist engineers to investigate the cause of the collapse and determine the next steps.”