A 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl was hit by a car while reportedly playing a popular virtual game on a phone. The teen remains hospitalized with injuries from the accident.
Autumn of Tarentum, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, was struck by the car at an intersection in Tarentum around 5:20 p.m. on July 12. The teen's mother, Tracy Nolan, told WPXI that her daughter had asked her for her phone about 30 minutes before the accident so that she could play the virtual game "Pokemon Go."
The object of the app-based game is to walk around in the real world attempting to catch virtual Pokemons that appear on the screen.
After reportedly catching a Pokemon near the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Autumn tried to cross a busy four-lane road in order to get back home, KDKA reports. Although the teen said she looked both ways before crossing and was not looking at her phone, she was struck by a car in the middle of the road.
"The car was flying up the hill," Autumn told KDKA. "I was in the middle, tried to get out of the way. I was hit on my side."
The teen suffered a collarbone injury, a foot injury, and some scratches and bruises. She was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where she remained hospitalized as of July 13.
The driver of the car that hit the young woman reportedly stopped and held her hand until paramedics arrived, according to WPXI.
Nolan told KDKA that Pokemon Go causes teens to go to dangerous places they might not have otherwise.
"I'm blaming the game itself because it's dragging kids across highways; major highways," Nolan said. "Kids don’t need to be going across highways."
The popular virtual game, which was first released in early July, warns players to "be alert at all times and stay aware of your surroundings."
In spite of this warning, the game has caused several incidents since its release. On the same day Autumn was hit by a car, a group of three Pokemon Go players had to call police after finding themselves locked in a cemetery in northeastern Pennsylvania around 9:30 p.m., KDKA reports.
Autumn has deleted the Pokemon Go app from her phone. A spokesperson at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC said that the teen was not the first patient to be hospitalized as a result of the game, according to WPXI.