A 67-year-old woman walking down a street in New Jersey street glanced down at her phone for only a moment before she plunged down a sidewalk opening and into a cellar.
The whole incident was caught on video.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the woman’s son said he is grateful his 67-year-old mother wasn’t killed. He emphasized that when people watch the video, it is important to know that his mother is legally blind and diabetic.
To many, the video looks like a hard lesson in distracted walking – a woman coming down the street straight toward the wide open cellar doors around noon Thursday, right in front of Acme Windows on Somerset Street in Plainfield.
But right before she reaches them, she looks down and then flips over the door, head first, six feet down to the basement below.
Plainfield police said earlier Thursday that it appeared the woman was distracted by her cellphone.
“When I first saw the video, my heart dropped,” the woman’s son said. “It was painful to watch.”
The woman’s son said there is a lot more to the story than just another person distracted by a cellphone. He said his mother is legally blind and diabetic.
“”She regularly takes on schedule her meals and checks her sugar. As far as I was told, when she was walking down the street, she felt a little nauseous in a sense, and looked at her phone to see what time it was,” the woman’s son said.
Moments after she fell, fire crews arrived and rescued the woman – pulling her out of the basement on a stretcher.
“It was a whole lot of people out here,” said Martin Delgadillo, who works nearby. “The police came, they closed down the street.”
The woman’s son said she has trouble seeing blended colors, and wishes workers had put up some type of indicator or cones to alert people to be careful.
Police said the doors were open for gas line repairs.
“She may be hurt, but at least she’s alive,” the woman’s son said.
Police said the woman was seriously hurt, but is now in stable condition. Her son said she was visiting from Florida, and he will be flying up tomorrow to be with her.
Falling into a sidewalk cellar has always been one of those irrational fears of ours.