Texting Teen Falls Down Manhole - NBC New York

Texting Teen Falls Down Manhole

The family intends to sue

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    The girl's mother said workers told her they left the open manhole unattended for only a second.

    We all know that walking and texting is a tough combination -- but a Staten Island teen learned the hard way when she fell into an uncovered sewer manhole while trying to send a message.

    Now, the family of Alexa Longueira, 15, intends to sue.

    The girl suffered a fright and some scrapes on her arms back after she dropped into the hole on Victory Boulevard. 

    "It was four or five feet, it was very painful. I kind of crawled out and the DEP guys came running and helped me," Longueria told the Staten Island Advance.. "They were just, like, 'I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

    For its part, the Department of Environmental Protection said its workers had turned away briefly to grab some cones when the incident occurred.

    "We regret that this happened and wish the young woman a speedy recovery," DEP spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said in a statement.  She added that crews were flushing a high-pressure sewer line at the time.

    The girl was checked out at Staten Island University Hospital and released.

    Sewer line workers are supposed to cut off pedestrian access to work sites or at least mark them with warning signs. 

    The family said they will file a lawsuit -- for what, though, is not immediately clear.  Her mother, Kim Longueira, said it doesn't matter that her daughter was walking and texting, and also, the 'gross' factor that can't be ignored.

    "Oh my God, it was putrid," she said. "One of her sneakers is still down there"