iPhone crash detection saves man trapped in truck in Asheboro

21 September 2023

RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A driver was rescued from his trapped truck in Randolph County, and it’s all thanks to his iPhone.

The driver’s iPhone alerted fire and rescue to the crash.

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Westside Fire and Rescue say the driver was stuck in his truck connected to a flatbed which skidded down an embankment on Hwy 49 near Oak Hollow Drive early Thursday morning.

“He was down an embankment in the woods, and some trees had fallen down on top of the truck … It’s very possible nobody would have seen him ’til daylight, especially on a highway like that, and they wouldn’t necessarily be looking,” said Westside Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Alan Garner.

The driver didn’t call 911, but his iPhone did, which led to his rescue.

Westside Fire and Rescue says recently, they are getting more emergency alerts through the iPhone crash detection system, but many are false alarms.

“People drop their phones, people lay them on their cars, take off down the road, they fall off, hit the road … It’s getting to be a little bit more common,” Garner said.

This call was no false alarm.

It came in at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, and it turned out to be a serious emergency coming from a man trapped inside his truck.  

“He could not reach his phone … It was actually in the floorboard, and he couldn’t get to it,” Garner said. “So it sensed the crash and it activated and called 911.”

The phone sent information to 911. Through the call, dispatchers talked to the man trapped.

Westside Fire and Rescue located him and got him out of the truck using the jaws of life, and he walked away without injuries.

According to Apple support, crash detection is turned on by default on iPhone and Apple Watch models with the latest version of iOS.

iPhone Crash Detection uses the microphone on your iPhone to detect loud sound levels characteristic of crashes.

Your iPhone or Apple Watch sounds an alarm and displays an alert when a severe crash is detected.

The screen displays an emergency call slider, and your phone can call emergency services.

Westside Fire and Rescue encourages drivers to enable this in case of emergencies like this one.

“We’d a whole lot rather come out and there not be anything to it than to actually need us, but this was one of those instances … Where he could not reach his phone, so that feature worked really well for him,” Garner said.

If your iPhone or Apple Watch detects a severe car crash and contacts emergency services, it will include your device location.

The call will share your location regardless of whether you have enabled location services.

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