A 76-year-old woman could have died after falling through an uncovered manhole Monday morning in Palatine if she didn’t have her cell phone.
The woman fell 12 feet into the hole located behind a Jewel-Osco in the southeast corner of Dundee and Hicks roads.
She was reportedly unaware of where she was, and police and fire crews were unable to locate her, nearly calling off the search before dispatchers used her cellphone signal to pinpoint her location.
Palatine firefighters went down into the hole to treat the woman for her nonlife-threatening injuries before lifting her out with a harness and transporting her to Northwest Community Hospital.
Police said that if she had not had her cellphone, her cries for help may not have been heard and she might have "expired" in the hole.
DiMucci Cos., the development group that owns the property, was reportedly notified Friday of the missing cover but did not order a replacement until Monday after the accident occurred. Police said they are unsure if the incident urged them to order the cover or if they were unaware of the accident before ordering.