Texting Woman Falls Off Pier Into Lake Michigan

By Suzan Clarke

Mar 23, 2012 11:30am

A Michigan woman who was texting as she walked along a pier was so distracted that she tripped and fell backward into Lake Michigan.

Bonnie Miller was walking along the pier at about 9:30 p.m. Monday with her husband, Greg, and son Quinn, 15, when she realized she had made an appointment for the wrong time. She started texting in order to correct the error, she told ABC affiliate ABC57 News in South Bend, Ind.

The Benton Harbor woman said she sent “about three words” before tripping and falling an estimated six feet into the water.

“Quinn said he just heard me say, ‘Oh God’ and then a splash,” she said.

Miller’s husband and a bystander, Rebecca Van Zant, 19, jumped in after her. They helped her stay afloat until emergency responders arrived a few minutes later.

Bonnie Miller acknowledged that she was extremely embarrassed, and added that she was grateful to be alive. “I have a new lease on life,” Miller told ABC57 News.

In addition to that new lease on life, she’s also compelled to warn people about the potential hazards that could come from texting while performing other activities. “I couldn’t let pride stand in my way of warning other people to not drive and text or walk and text,” she said.  “It can be dangerous.”

Miller didn’t suffer serious injuries.

Distracted texting has been blamed for a growing number of serious car accidents and pedestrian injuries, as well as numerous everyday mishaps.

Cathy Cruz Marrero became an unintentional Internet sensation last year after video showing her texting and falling into a Pennsylvania shopping mall fountain went viral.

A Berkshire Mall security-camera video that was posted on YouTube captured the incident. Marrero could be seen looking down at her phone and walking straight toward the fountain, tripping and plunging in head first.

She then casually got up, retrieved the cellphone, climbed out, looked around and walked away.

In the video, voices could be heard discussing her fall and chuckling.

Marrero was not injured, but has complained that security should have checked to make sure she was OK.

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