Cell phone disconnects

May 14, 2012 1:47 pm
Two recent stories about cell phone disconnects: one, not getting any rural service led to two deaths, and another about a cell phone company refusing to help police find an unconscious man because of an unpaid bill:

Lissa Harris in The Watershed Post rounds up the now-national coverage of the deaths of an elderly couple in Andes, who died from lack of cell phone service. The story was trumpeted by The Daily News Friday, May 11, a week after the accident, and then an Associated Press story ran in The Washington Post and other papers. From The Watershed Post:
Arthur and Madeleine Morris, a Manhattan couple who owned a vacation home on Woodland Hill Drive in Andes, died near their own property after their car slid off the driveway and over an embankment on the afternoon of Thursday, May 3. But neither was injured in the crash. New York State Police investigator Alan Ferrara told the Watershed Post this week that Arthur had died of asphyxiation, probably after he tried to get out of the car and slipped. Madeleine walked to a neighbor's house in an effort to get help, but sustained a head wound while walking through the woods, and died of exposure during the night.The Daily News reports that Madeleine tried to dial 911 on her cell phone nine times:
Nine times, the call would not go through — so the panicked seniors tried to escape themselves, with disastrous results. Arthur, 88, was smothered trying to crawl out of the Ford Fusion, while brave wife Madeleine, 89, trekked to a road but died of exposure after a rainy night under a tarp.

Read the full story at The Watershed Post.

Nancy Schaar at Ohio's Times Reporter writes:
A 62-year-old Carrollton area man was found unconscious and unresponsive Thursday morning during an intense search overnight by Carroll County sheriff deputies, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper and the patrol’s airplane. [Sheriff] Williams said he attempted to use the man’s cell phone signal to locate him, but the man was behind on his phone bill and the Verizon operator refused to connect the signal unless the sheriff’s department agreed to pay the overdue bill. After some disagreement, Williams agreed to pay $20 on the phone bill in order to find the man.
Read the full story in the Times Reporter.
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