WEST PALM BEACH – A man was struck and killed by a train last Thursday in West Palm Beach. The man, identified as Christopher Barnes, 29, was from Greenacres.
According to witness accounts, Barnes was traveling west by foot. He was seen on the north side of Palm Beach Lakes. Barnes was talking on a cell phone when he walked underneath the crossing gates and was struck by the train. The train that hit Barnes was located close to Boynton Beach, forcing officers to process two separate scenes.
While this accident is tragic to be sure, it is perhaps more so because it was avoidable. Unfortunately, many of us feel as though we cannot live without our technology. We constantly check email, respond to text messages, and post to social media when we should be paying attention to our surroundings. Whether driving, bicycling or walking, it is imperative that we pay close attention to what we are doing.
When is the last time you had a near miss because you were absorbed in your mobile device? If you are like most people, it was not that long ago. We have become a nation of people who demand instant gratification and the ability to be almost permanently connected to one another.
Put your phone away. Put the tablet down. There is nothing going on inside the virtual world that cannot wait. As is the case in this news report, keeping up with the goings on of the people you know can be deadly. It doesn’t have to be. If you are performing a task that requires your attention, keep your phone tucked in your pocket. If you must take a call or respond to a text, pull over to the side of the road if you are driving. If you are walking, stop and take care of it before you start walking again. Had Barnes have done this, he may