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San Diego Teen Noemi Mendoza Killed by Semi-Truck

San Diego teen Noemi Mendoza was killed by a semi-truck in January 2014.

Noemi Mendoza, 15, was distracted by her cellphone when she walked into the path of a semi-truck in the south San Diego neighborhood of Otay Mesa. Noemi, a sophomore at Castle Park High School, crossed La Media Road and Otay Mesa Lane around 5 p.m. when a semi-truck making a right turn struck and killed her. Noemi’s brother tried to pull her away from the truck at the last second, but she lost her balance and fell. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her brother was also hit by the truck but was not hurt, according to police. No charges are expected against the truck driver.

Noemi Mendoza’s death highlights the growing concern about “distracted walking” by young people. Pedestrians engrossed by their cell phones have fallen off bridges or into bodies or water, or walked into dangerous intersections. According to the non-profit group Safe Kids Worldwide, pedestrian injury rates have increased 25 percent over the last five years among teens ages 16 to 19. SafeKids Worldwide camped out in intersections at 68 schools in 17 states, concluding that about one in five high schoolers were distracted by an electronic device when crossing the street.

We urge our readers to be mindful of your surroundings while walking and to keep your cell phones tucked away until you are in a safe place.

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