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Cops: Teen's death linked to cell use
San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | 1/30/2014 | Lyndsay Winkley

Posted on 01/30/2014 7:23:39 PM PST by South40

CHULA VISTA — A 15-year-old girl was distracted by her cellphone when she walked into the path of a semi-truck that struck and killed her in Otay Mesa Wednesday evening, San Diego police said Thursday.

A small bouquet of yellow flowers and a pink balloon in the shape of a butterfly were tied to a post near Otay Mesa Lane and La Media Road where Noemi Mendoza, a Castle Park High School sophomore, was killed.

The girl’s death has highlighted a troubling phenomenon that researchers call “distracted walking,” when pedestrians immersed in their electronics put themselves in harm’s way.

Noemi was crossing the street shortly after 5 p.m. when she was hit by an eastbound semi that was making a right turn onto La Media at a green light, police said.

The girl’s brother tried to pull his sister away from the truck, but she lost her balance and fell under the semi’s rear wheels, police said. She died at the scene.

Her brother also was hit by the truck but was not hurt, police said.

The accident continues to be investigated, but no charges are expected against the truck driver, police said.

“This was a really, really sad case,” traffic Lt. Andrew Hoffman said Thursday.

Crisis counselors were at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista Thursday to talk with students who knew Noemi, said Nadege Johnson, a Sweetwater Union High School District spokeswoman. The district released the girl’s name.

Bobby Murillo, a 17-year-old senior who shared a French class with Noemi, said even students who didn’t know her were mourning.

“We lost a Trojan today,” he said, referring to the school’s nickname. “All her friends are devastated.”

Jim Stone, executive director of WalkSanDiego, an organization dedicated to making San Diego’s neighborhoods more walkable, said he recently watched a young man, engrossed on his cellphone, nearly walk in front of a trolley car before hearing its horn blare.

“I think it’s a no-brainer to come to the conclusion that some people put themselves at risk when using their phones,” he said.

According to a 2013 nationwide study by Ohio State University researchers, about 250 pedestrians who went to an emergency room in 2005 said they were using a cellphone when they were injured, compared to about 1,500 similar visits in 2010. One 14-year-old boy was on his cellphone when he fell 6 to 8 feet off a bridge, injuring his chest and shoulders, the study said.

Young people, ages 16 to 25, were most likely to report “distracted walking” incidents, the study said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 01/30/2014 7:23:39 PM PST by South40
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To: South40

At the local university I see many students crossing the street while looking at their phones/pods/whatevers, and PAY NO ATTENTION to traffic.

I’m surprised there’s not more of this - - perhaps the numbers will catch up.


2 posted on 01/30/2014 7:28:46 PM PST by gortklattu (God knows who is best, everybody else is making guesses - Tony Snow)
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To: South40

smart phones ha ha ha

darwin award candidate


3 posted on 01/30/2014 7:31:25 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: South40

Technology kills.


4 posted on 01/30/2014 7:37:17 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: South40

5 posted on 01/30/2014 7:37:37 PM PST by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: gortklattu

Fourty years ago, folks generally had their nose in a book or newspaper when they walked into things or stepped out into traffic.

The moral:

Yesterday’s stupid people knew more than today’s stupid people.


6 posted on 01/30/2014 7:38:29 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd
Yesterday’s stupid people knew more than today’s stupid people

Yes, they read more, or at least they did for awhile, until they tried to cross the street. I do not see many people doing that here. Maybe they are a little smarter, but traffic is murder too.

7 posted on 01/30/2014 8:26:30 PM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: South40

Sad waste and needless death. My prayers for her and her family.


8 posted on 01/30/2014 8:44:26 PM PST by ZULU (Magua is sitting in the Oval Office. Ted Cruz/Phil Robertson in 2016.)
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To: South40

I hope San Diego’s TV news channels and radio are broadcasting this tragedy so that other teens who happen to even casually pay attention to news, might benefit.


9 posted on 01/30/2014 8:51:57 PM PST by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx

a long as they report it on Twitter maybe


10 posted on 01/30/2014 8:56:18 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: South40

Around here we refer to them as ITards.


11 posted on 01/30/2014 9:50:39 PM PST by Deek
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To: onyx

I generally don’t watch TV news but I did yesterday. Mrs. 40 and I attended the State of the County Address and I wanted to see what was said about that. This story made all the channels. I have no idea how or if this poor girl’s death will bring focus to the issue of kids’ needing to pay attention. We can only hope.


12 posted on 01/30/2014 10:15:21 PM PST by South40 (Liberalism is a Disease)
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To: GeronL
a long as they report it on Twitter maybe

LOL. You're right.

Or Instagram or whatever the newest rage.

13 posted on 01/30/2014 10:42:09 PM PST by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: South40

Thanks so much for telling me.

We can only hope and pray that something good comes from her tragic death.

Those damn cell phones have their place, but teens forget to pay attention to surroundings, just like adults when driving!!!!


14 posted on 01/30/2014 10:43:55 PM PST by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: South40

http://canadianproblems.com/life/technology/texting-mittens/


15 posted on 01/31/2014 4:00:24 AM PST by ltc8k6
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To: South40

Sad. If she had lived a few more years, she could have been driving instead of walking. Then she would have been perfectly safe while she answered that urgent text. /s


16 posted on 01/31/2014 4:05:29 AM PST by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: MrEdd
Yesterday’s stupid people knew more than today’s stupid people.

Somehow, reading a novel or newspaper while absentmindedly walking into traffic makes more sense. At 15, the poor girl was perhaps reading nothing more than another, "OMG. He said that? OMG again!" text. :(

While I'm always finding ways to convince myself that I'm smarter than others in the "I would never do that" sense to convince myself that nothing bad will happen to me, the reality is, "There, but for the grace of God, go I". I do mindless, potentially very stupid, things every single day. Her family and friends have my heartfelt prayers as they will spend the rest of their lives saying, "if only". :(

17 posted on 01/31/2014 4:16:52 AM PST by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: South40

And had some passerby seen the danger to her and grabbed her out of harm’s way, he’d have been charged with assault.


18 posted on 01/31/2014 8:22:41 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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