At Tseun Wan MTR station, I nearly witness a tragedy unfold.
I have to admit, I do it myself, fairly often actually. Walking while texting or Facebooking or even writing in this blog. I try to be careful, looking up regularly to make sure I don’t walk into walls, poles, people, buses, etc. Yesterday, however…
It was probably because of this that I had a full view of someone of else doing what I would probably be doing otherwise, walking along, typing away. The young woman was heading for the escalator, as well as I. What she didn’t see was another woman who had just come up an escalator and was heading for a collision course.
The second woman looked like she was trying to get her bearings. Most likely she had not been to Tseung Wan station for a while, or ever, and was trying to figure out what direction to go for her exit. It was because of this that the second woman didn’t notice the woman on her phone walking straight towards her. Nor did she notice that she was standing right by the top of a very long staircase when the texting lady was approaching.
It happened in an instant. As I stood there, silently bearing witness to it, time seemed to slow down slightly. The young lady on her phone and the woman trying to find her bearings, collided right at the top of the stairs. The lady lost her balance and tee-toddled on one foot, waving her arms, trying to get her balance, as the heel of her foot was tipping over the top of the stairs.
The young lady on her phone backed up, face slightly aghast, as she simultaneously reached out with one hand to say “sorry”, while securing her phone with the other hand.
My mind immediately sent electrical signals to my imagination to imagine screaming “NOOO!!!” as the scene unfolded. But it all happened too quick for my imagination to send the signals to my arms to drop my bags and reach out to save the woman.
By sheer luck and a bit of expert, amateur tightrope walker style re-balancing, the woman regained her footing and stayed at the top of the stairway. A brief moment of realization of what happened transpired before she gave a very dirty look to the young lady, who went back to her phone texting and heading to the escalator as if nothing had happened.
Seeing that tragedy was overted, I went back to my business. But I couldn’t help think that this is something that must be happening all too often. I tried looking up how many injuries or fatalities come about from texting while walking. Best I could find was an article in USA Today that blamed a large surge in pedestrian deaths last year on cell phone use.
In either case, stay sharp and watch your steps my friends, whether texting or not.