Nation & World

Woman distracted by her cell phone falls six feet into a sidewalk cellar

A 67-year-old woman fell into a sidewalk cellar in New Jersey on Thursday when she didn’t see the hole because she was looking at her cell phone.

The scary moment was captured on a surveillance camera.

The woman, who has not been identified, was walking down a sidewalk in Plainfield, N.J., the Associated Press reports.

Utility workers repairing gas lines had opened the sidewalk doors to access the cellar of a store called Acme Windows. The woman walked right into one of the doors and flipped over it, falling 6 feet into the basement.

“She was looking at her phone – the last minute – she hit the door and fell right in,” Martin Delgadillo, who owns a barbershop nearby, told NBC New York.

The woman’s son told CBS New York he was grateful his mother survived the fall.

“When I first saw the video, my heart dropped,” he said. “It was painful to watch.”

He said his mother, who has vision problems and is diabetic, wasn’t just some distracted cell phone user oblivious to her surroundings. He said he wished the workers had put up cones or some other warning indicator about the open doors.

“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,” he told the TV station.

The surveillance video shows fire crews carrying her out of the basement on a stretcher.

"She may be hurt, but at least she’s alive," the woman’s son said.

NBC New York reported the woman was in serious condition at a hospital Thursday night.