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For some, texting and walking don't mix

March 26, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • This still from a YouTube video uploaded by ABC 57 shows St. Joseph's Pier in Michigan. Bonnie Miller fell off the pier this month while texting and walking at the same time.
This still from a YouTube video uploaded by ABC 57 shows St. Joseph's… (ABC 57 )

Think texting and walking is no problem? Well, maybe you should talk to Bonnie Miller, a Michigan woman who recently fell off a pier while texting and walking at the same time.

"I can't let pride get in my way of warning other people to not drive and text or walk and text. It's quite dangerous," Bonnie Miller told ABC 57, a local television station in South Bend, Ind.

Miller plunged into the water this month when she was out for a stroll with her husband and 15-year-old son. As the family ambled down the pier, enjoying the weather, Miller remembered she needed to change an appointment. She pulled out her cellphone to send a quick text.

"Next thing you know it was the water," she told ABC 57.

When it looked like Miller was having trouble staying afloat, her husband jumped in after her, and so did a 19-year-old bystander.

Firefighters and the Coast Guard soon arrived, and a St. Joseph police officer threw them a flotation device and helped them climb the ladder back up to the pier.

Everyone was OK in the end, although Miller said her ego took a bruising.

"I can't believe how many people came," she said. "I’m really quite embarrassed."

Miller is not the only person to suffer humiliation after a texting-and-walking accident.

Last year, Cathy Cruz Marrero was texting and walking in a mall in Reading, Pa., when she tumbled into a fountain.

She wasn't injured, but she told CBS News that she cried for days after footage of the accident landed on YouTube, where it was viewed more than 2 million times.

"The humiliation," she said in a video interview. "You don't know how many people are laughing at you."

She also noted the danger of texting and walking. "I could have been walking into a bus, a car, a ditch. Anything. Texting and walking -- take it from me -- is dangerous."

That's a message you won't have to tell Alexa Longueira, a Staten Island, N.Y., teenager who in 2009 fell into an open manhole while reading a text on her friend's cellphone. According to a report by WABC, she fell 6 feet into four inches of raw sewage.

"From your sink to your toilet, it's down there," Longueira's mother told the television station. "She was smelly."

Longueira had cuts on her back and on her arm, but otherwise she was OK. The manhole was open because workers had neglected to cover it up while they went to get orange cones that would alert people that the hole was uncovered.

On YouTube you'll find video of another texting-and-walking fall, caught on tape by the Canadian Broadcast Company. The camera is focused on a gray-haired man who appears to be talking about an Ontario spending report, but behind him on the right of the screen you'll see a woman tumble down a small flight of stairs and then a group of people rush to her aid.

She was lucky, though: The media didn't get her name.


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