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Legally Blind Woman Injured After Falling Into Uncovered Manhole

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A legally blind woman falls into an uncovered manhole on Weiler Boulevard, in southeast Fort Worth.

Rachael Wilson, 34, was walking with her 7-year-old son to the bus stop Wednesday morning. She fell near the ECS Food Mart.

“My whole body went in that way,” Wilson said gesturing. “My head was the only thing that saved me from totally falling in. My head and my purse was [sic] jammed.  I hit my head on the ground.”

Wilson is legally blind and has tunnel vision. She remembers her son being terrified when the incident happened. “What if it would have been my son and I’m visually impaired? I wouldn’t have knew [sic] where he went.”

Rose Moore lives near Weiler Boulevard and witnessed Wilson’s fall. She says she had called the City of Fort Worth about missing manhole covers before Wilson’s fall, but her complaints had not been heard.

“My son fell into the same hole — the same hole right there,” Moore said pointing. “I want something done about it.  It’s not fair for us to get hurt like that.”

The firefighters who helped Wilson found a manhole cover down the sewer drain, but it didn’t fit.

After CBS 11 made calls to the City of Fort Worth a crew showed up and put orange markers over two loose covers.

A city spokesperson said the problem, happening throughout Fort Worth, is the result of people taking the manhole covers to sell for scrape metal.

Wilson feels the city needs to take care of the problem. She was treated and released from Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, but is still bruised and hurting.

“I am lucky, lucky I did not snap my neck when I hit,” Wilson said. “I’m telling you if my purse wasn’t on my left shoulder I would have probably died or I would have been paralyzed.”

Residents can report missing manhole covers to the city by calling 817-392-4477.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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