Man Hits Two Pedestrians While Playing Pokemon Go
On Sunday a man crashed into two pedestrians while playing Pokemon Go in Dunedin.
Vincent Barone veered off the road on SR 580 and struck the two pedestrians on the sidewalk near the intersection of SR 580 and CR 1 at around 2:20 p.m.
Deputies say Barone fled the scene and later told them he left because he “panicked.”
Barone fled to a convenience store on 1401 Pinehurst Road where a motorcyclist that witnessed the crash followed and caught up to him. The motorcyclist called 911 and detained Barone until authorities arrived.
Sheree Dean and Sherman Puckett were the two pedestrians hit in the crash. They sustained serious injuries and were transported to Bayfront Medical Center.
Barone is a teacher at Plato Academy in Largo. He told investigators that he was playing the mobile app “Pokemon Go” on his phone and was distracted when the crash occurred.
Deputies say Barone is charged with two counts of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Serious Bodily Injury.
Pokemon Go Involved Crashes Across The U.S.
Back in September the Daily Mail released a report that showed over 110,000 road accidents involving Pokemon Go.
The study the Daily Mail reported on estimated that 113,993 incidents occurred over a 10 day period due to distracted drivers and pedestrians playing the Pokemon Go app.
In July 2016, when the game was first released, police across the U.S. were seeing crazy accidents. In Pennsylvania a 15-year-old teen was hit while trying to cross a highway.
“Kids don’t just cross a highway,” her mother Tracy Nolan told WTAE. “This thing had her walking across a highway to find a Pokémon. When she called and said that she was hit by a car, I blamed the game, because she would not have been out of my house. My daughter is a hermit.”
Police began urging players to use common sense and to not attempt making any risky moves to capture creatures in the game.
The game has over 15 million players and researchers are calling the game “unsafe and dangerous.” Back in November Niantic, the game developer, addressed this issue by disabling the ability to spin PokeStops while at driving speeds.
Niantic put a halt on being able to play the game at any speed basically, besides a brisk walk.