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Texting teenager plunges to his death

Family blames multi-storey car park

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An Australian teenager has died after he fell from a multi-storey car park while typing a text message.

19-year-old Ryan Robbins escorted a couple of women to their car late last Friday, in Melbourne. After they parted ways, Ryan began texting a friend, while walking.

He did not notice the railing - about waist-high - and tripped over, plunging to his death. Ryan had been drinking but was not drunk, according to his grandmother Patricia Schroeter.

In an interview with the radio station 3AW, she blamed inadequate safety measures at the car park for Ryan's death and called for taller barriers to be mandatory.

"I don't want anyone else to lose their children or… to go like this, not if it can be prevented," she said.

According to local reports, Australian building regs require one metre-high safety barriers in multi-level buildings.

A bill is impending in New York that seeks to ban the use of iPods and mobile phones while crossing the road. Mind you, Democratic State Senator Carl Kruger has been trying to get this on the statute books since 2007.

In Australia, the New South Wales Police is gunning for similar restrictions, in response to what it calls a "Death by iPod" epidemic. ®

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