Monday, July 13, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

How did I get here?

CellPhone_Texting That has to be the question Staten Island teen Alexa Longueira was asking when she suddenly found herself down a New York City manhole.

According to MyFox New York:

Alexa Longueira was walking down Victory Boulevard and getting ready to text-message when she fell into an open sewer manhole. Now the city is trying to figure out why the manhole was left open and unblocked. Alexa suffered some cuts and scrapes but is otherwise OK.

So just how did Alexa end up in a manhole?

Seems the young lady was too busy texting to pay attention to where she was going. Pardon me for saying so, but given that she was walking around in one of the world’s largest and busiest cities, shouldn’t she have been paying attention to her environment? Perhaps I’m being unreasonable.

It’s a given that the manhole shouldn’t have been uncovered. The city workers involved say they’d left it open only for a moment to grab some cones. They probably assumed that people walking down the street would be paying attention. Perhaps they were being unreasonable, too.

Here’s an interesting thought: Had Alexa sauntered down the street a few seconds later, there is every chance she’d have tripped over the cones and gone head first into the manhole. She might have died, and this story would have lost all of its entertainment value. Do you doubt me? Think about it – she was obviously paying zero attention to the path ahead of her. If she didn’t see that gaping hole, why would she see a rubber cone?

And of course, Alexa’s parents say they plan to file a lawsuit. If they cared one whit about their daughter, they’d apologize to the city and thoroughly discipline poor Alexa for being so careless with her own safety.

Every day I see people texting while they’re driving. It’s insane. Many areas have enacted laws against texting while driving, which is a good indicator of just how serious the problem has become. Mind you, I love my little Motorola cell phone. And yes, I send the occasional text message. But if I’m walking, I stop. And I never… NEVER text while driving. You should be very relieved about that since I drive an 18-wheeler for a living. Remember: I’m out there. Somewhere. Always.

And please explain to me how you can be watching where you’re going while concentrating on making a smiley face on a 3-inch screen? Answer: You can’t. And that’s why sooner or later you’ll crash into the back of my trailer at 70 mph. Perhaps your family will have “LOL! :-)” etched on your gravestone.

Come on people, grow up just a little bit, okay? I’d hate to meet you by accident.

Related Reading:

MyFox article


Aaron Burgoyne said...

So you are saying that when you text you stop walking, plant yourself and then compose? I work in OHS and I can tell you in Australia, a country where litigious cases aren't the norm, she would be entitled to the payment.

It is the workers responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary and appropriate equipment (PPE, equipment to cordon off area) before they open up a hole in the ground. Who just leaves a gaping hole in the ground?

You are quick to lay blame on a person who was walking along a street and not expecting there to be a hole for her to fall down.
What if it was a bike rider who failed to notice the hole and then fell down, would you blame the rider?

The responsibility squarely falls on the shoulders of the workers.

Alan said...


What I am saying is that she should have been paying attention to where she was going and what she was doing. If you are in motion, whether driving, walking or riding a bike, you should be watching where you're going. That's just common sense.

The city workers should in fact have had the cones ready when they opened the manhole. That also is common sense. But they didn't. And the young lady is fortunate to not be injured any worse than she was.

But that does not change the fact that had she been paying attention, it wouldn't have happened. Did anyone else fall into the hole? Nope. Just her. Everyone else probably WAS paying attention.