A mother in Tarentum, Pennsylvania says that her 15-year-old daughter was hit by a car while playing the popular reality game app Pokémon GO. According to WPXI, at approximately 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, Autumn Diesroth was walking across the street near the intersection of Ross Street and East Ninth Avenue when she was suddenly struck by an oncoming vehicle.
The Highlands High School student was reportedly distracted by the smart-phone game app, Pokémon GO, and wasn’t looking both ways when she crossed the street. After being hit by a car, the Pennsylvania teen was immediately transported to a local hospital, where she sustained injuries to her collarbone and to her foot.
— Pittsburgh News (@PittsNews24) July 14, 2016
The teen’s mother, Tracy Nolan, told reporters that 30 minutes before her daughter was hit by a car while playing Pokémon GO, she asked to use her phone. Diesroth had recently found out about the new realty game app Pokémon GO, which is an “augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic, and published by The Pokémon Company,” and wanted to try it out herself.
Nolan stated that she was skeptical about allowing her daughter to play the reality game on her phone, which requires you to walk in order to catch a Pokémon. However, after she gave Diesroth her phone, disaster struck less than an hour later.
“The Pokémon GO reality game took her across a major highway at 5 o’clock in the evening, which is rush hour,” said Nolan. “No game is worth a child’s life.”
After, the driver, who struck the teen as she was playing Pokémon GO, got out of the vehicle and held the teen’s hand until emergency responders arrived at the scene.
A spokesperson for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where the teen was transported after being hit by a car while playing Pokémon GO, stated that she isn’t the first person to be admitted to the hospital as a result of the reality game.
Nolan warns other parents not to “let your kids play this game because you don’t want to go through what I went through last night. I really thought I was losing my daughter.”
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, less than 24 hours after the Tarentum teen was hit by a car while playing Pokémon GO, fire fighters in Encinitas, California had to rescue two men, whose names have not been released, who fell 90 feet off the edge of Ocean Bluff while playing the reality game.
One of the men was found unconscious, but both men had to be transported to the La Jolla trauma center, where they will undergo treatment for “unspecified injuries.”
It was not immediately clear if the teen hit by a car and the two men, who fell off the Ocean Bluff all while playing the reality, will recover from their injuries, but this may not be the last reports of injuries associated with the Pokémon GO reality game.
Two men fall off a cliff playing ‘Pokémon Go’ in California https://t.co/bw3Ljh1oP6
— Mashable (@mashable) July 14, 2016
Gerry Beyer, who is the Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law, warns the public that “death by Pokémon is coming.” He says that the “Pokémon users will have all sorts of accidents as they use the program while walking, biking, and driving, etc.”
“I also fear that Pokémon trespassers may be considered home invaders by property owners and injured or even killed by owners who believe they are defending their property and life.”
“The Pokémon user certainly will be liable for trespassing and any other damages he or she causes to the property owners.”
However, the San Francisco Police Department has warned the public via Facebook following the reported incidents associated with the reality game, which states that “as you battle, train, and capture your Pokémon just remember you’re still in the real world.”
[Image via Getty Images/Robert Cianflone]