NBC4 reports that a 67-year-old woman suffered serious injuries in Plainfield, New Jersey when, apparently distracted by her phone, she walked directly into an open cellar door.
Video shows the woman seeming to look ahead as she approaches the cellar stairs. Steps from the opening, she glances at her phone, then goes tumbling over the raised door as passersby try, too late, to catch her. The woman fell six feet into the basement, and was still hospitalized as of Thursday night, according to NBC.
"I thought texting and driving was a bad thing," witness Martin Delgadillo told the station. "Now it's texting and walking."
Indeed. Emergency visits for injuries involving distracted pedestrians on cellphones more than doubled between 2004 and 2010, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Still, despite New York City police and some politicians' propensity to blame distracted walking for crashes that claim pedestrians' lives, of 13,694 city crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians in 2014, only 2,622 were attributed to "Pedestrian/Bicyclist/Other Ped Error/Confusion" in Department of Motor Vehicles statistics.
Update 11:25 a.m.:
CBS2 reports that the woman is legally blind and diabetic, and was checking the time on her phone when she walked into the open door. Her son told the station she has difficulty seeing blended colors.