A man who drove off a 400-foot cliff was saved after his iPhone alerted the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department about the crash, police said.
First responders received a message from the driver’s iPhone 14 at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, informing them that he had crashed off of Mt. Wilson Road near the Angeles National Forest.
The man, who has not been publicly identified, was found less than 20 minutes later, ejected from the mangled car and bleeding from his head.
Officials from the Crescenta Valley Station said first responders were able to hear the man yelling from down the cliffside. A rescue helicopter was called to take him to a local hospital.
Mike Leum, one of the members of Montrose Search and Rescue, said that if it wasn’t for the man’s phone, he would have likely bled to death.
“Without that timely notification of the iPhone Crash Detection, nobody witnessed him going over, who knows if he ever would have been found.” Leum told USA Today. “He most likely would have bled out in a matter of an hour or so.”
The Montrose Search and Rescue team noted that the man was especially lucky to have the latest version of the iPhone’s crash detection system installed, which automatically contacts first responders via satellite.
Because older versions of the system only called 911 during a crash incident, the poor reception in the remote mountain would have likely failed to reach police.
The iPhone’s crash detection system activates when it detects a severe crash, automatically calling 911 if its user doesn’t respond after 20-seconds, according to Apple.
The company says the device has a high G-force accelerometer that can sense extreme accelerations or decelerations up to 256 Gs — or 256 times the force of gravity — to determine what constitutes a crash.
Although the technology has helped alert police to serious incidents in the past, it is far from perfect and can make false reports.
Last year, iPhone 14s repeatedly alerted police to various incidents at the Kings Island amusement park in Ohio because the phones kept mistaking roller coasters for crashes.
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