Verizon says the payphone that toppled onto a man, injuring him, at the Hamilton-Wenham train station last week was inspected four months before the accident.
“Since then there have been no reports of safety concerns with that payphone,” Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro said in a statement. “Our technicians regularly inspect our payphones when the coins are collected and whenever we receive a request from anyone who may have a question or concern about the condition of a pay phone.”
The accident occurred last Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. at the train station, which is located in Wenham, at the rear of the Shoppes at Hamilton Crossing off Walnut Road. The phone appeared to have fallen because the base had become rusted and rotted.
The pay phone – something of a relative rarity in the age of cell phones – will be replaced, said Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro. He couldn’t immediately say where other payphones are located in Hamilton and Wenham.
The victim, 25-year-old Danny Dion of Beverly, told WHDH-TV that he was talking to his mother on the phone when it fell on him. He said he slipped on rock salt on the ground as the phone fell on him.
“My neck and my back – it is hurting,” he said in an interview with WHDH, wearing a neck brace while on the sidewalk at the train station last week.
Hamilton-Wenham Patch couldn’t reach Dion for comment. Santoro said he didn’t know whether Dion had contacted Verizon after the accident.
Bob Gray, a Hamilton-Wenham Patch reader from Hamilton, posted that the day before the accident he saw the phone leaning in towards the ramp railing at the station.
“In my opinion there is no way it could have fallen forward without some outside assistance,” Gray said.
Verizon is investigating the accident to find out exactly what happened “and to ensure the safety of our customers and the public,” Santoro said in the statement.