Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Youth Thought It Was Safe To Text

Train strikes man who was texting
August 21, 2007

ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio --A train struck and injured a pedestrian who was sending a text message on his cell phone while crossing railroad tracks, a collision that hurled him about 50 feet, authorities and witnesses said Monday.

Zachariah Smith, 18, waited for a southbound train to pass Monday morning. He then walked around a gate and onto the tracks, apparently unaware that another train was coming from the other direction, said witness Mike Billups.

"The horn was blowing like mad and the kid was text messaging," said Mayor Richard Ellison, who went to the scene and talked to several witnesses after hearing of the accident. "The kid apparently was just daydreaming."

Smith was knocked out by the collision, Billups said.

After regaining consciousness, Smith was taken by paramedics to nearby University Hospital in Cincinnati with undisclosed injuries. He was listed in serious condition Monday night.

It was not clear how fast the train was moving.

Gates and lights at the crossing were in working order, said Elmwood Place police Col. William Peskin.

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