If you’ve never bumped into someone or something while attempting to text and walk at the same time, you’re either smart, lucky, or lying. But according to reports, one teenager from New York took such an unfortunate situation to new heights… or depths.
15-year-old Alexa Longueira of Staten Island was walking along a local street and typing a message. Presumably engrossed by the screen, the next thing she knew was that she’d dropped five feet through a manhole.
The amusing element of the story is that the manhole was open to allow workers to flush a high-pressure sewer, meaning Longueira fell straight into what a local CBS affiliate described as “smelly darkness.” (It also noted “Alexa lost one of her sneakers in the sewer. She does not want it back.”)
The less amusing side is that the girl suffered deep cuts and bruises to her back and shoulders from scraping the side of the manhole.
It’s worth noting that conflicting reports have Longueira admitting that she was sending a text at the time, while her mother denies this was the case. That might have something to do with the mother confirming she is considering taking legal action.
Given that the manhole was allegedly unmarked with no warning tape or cones (apparently left unattended while staff went to get just such equipment), there is something of a genuine complaint there. That said, a good lawyer would probably have advised it was a good idea to keep quiet about the whole texting thing.
Of course, while texting while walking can be dangerous, the potential consequences are even more serious while driving. Amazingly just six US states (plus DC) currently ban drivers from using handheld phones while in control of a car, though doing so elsewhere would certainly put a driver at risk of breaking general safety laws.