Tragedy linked to increase in cellular telephone sales

By Stacy Goldman

In the wake of college student Tammy Zywicki’s death, who was abducted and killed after her car broke down on Interstate Highway 80, there has been an increase in cellular phone sales.

Patrick Carroll, sales representative for Nicomm, a DeKalb-based broker for cellular phones, said he has seen a marked increase in sales, especially for women.

“Since Zywicki’s death there has been an increase in phone sales, especially for women,” he said.

He said on an average day Nicomm would sell about one or two phones a week, but that changed quickly after Zywicki’s death.

“Immediately following Zywicki’s death, we sold one to two phones a day,” he said. “They were in extremely high demand.”

Carroll said a car phone is the best thing a driver can have

while on the road.

“Car phones are the best form of security you can have while driving on the road today,” he said. “Getting in touch with the police if needed is a great advantage.”

Carroll said the price of a car phone ranges from $200 and up with a $19.95 service charge every month.

He said Contel charges 59 cents per minute during prime time which is from 6 a.m.- 8 p.m. During “off” hours, the cost is 29 cents for each minute, Carroll said.

Carroll added that there are two types of car phones a person can buy, “installable and portable.”

Student reaction was mixed. Sophomore communications major Amanda Mokelke said, “I don’t have a car phone and I feel pretty safe driving alone because I drive during the day.

“I feel I am capable of knowing what to do in an emergency or if my car has trouble,” she added.

Junior accounting major Heidi Silverman said she was prepared before Zywicki’s death.

“Even before Tammy Zywicki’s death, I had a car phone because my parents and I felt it would be a good precaution to take,” she said. “I feel safer knowing that I have a car phone.

“Recently, I was in an accident on the interstate and I was able to receive immediate assistance because I had the phone,” she added.