This teenager escaped death by a hair’s breadth.
Chenelle Agnew, 17, was standing near the train tracks of Bergen Street subway platform in Brooklyn, when her precious cell phone slipped from her grasp and landed on the train tracks.
Like a lot of teenagers these days, Agnew believed the gadget was worth more than her life and predictably (and quite stupidly) jumped onto the tracks to retrieve it. She was so engrossed in her attempt to rescue her phone, that she didn’t see the train barreling toward her.
“I saw her in the tracks trying to pick something up. And then I heard her hit. I heard the thump,” said the train’s operator, Devone Mason. “I didn’t know if she was alive or dead.”
But when Mason looked under the train, she found the lucky teen had escaped with all her limbs intact and surprise, surprise, was still holding on to her phone.
“She was down there still moving,” said Mason who had never had someone fall under her train before. “I’m still a little jumpy.”
Although the operator was shaken up, Agnew seemed to have suffered no ill effects from her near-death experience, except for a few bumps and scratches. In fact, as the paramedics rushed to get her to a hospital, Agnew was seen looking supremely unconcerned and staring hypnotically at her phone screen.
This phone-obsessed teenager was extremely fortunate she came to no harm. Others have not been so lucky.
Four years ago, a 23-year-old mother, Charlene Pickering, was killed when she ran onto the tracks of an oncoming train to pick up her fallen phone.
A 14-year-old girl, Jenna Betti, was sucked in by the vacuum created by a train as she bent to pick up her phone and instantly died in March 2014.
There have been other numerous incidents where cell phones have been the cause of deaths.
How many near mishaps and tragedies will have to occur until people realize train tracks and phones do not mix? What will it take to end people's obsession with phones?