A car crash victim’s iPhone 14 alerted first responders to the scene of a fatal accident that killed six young people in Nebraska early in the morning on October 2.
Lincoln police said that five young men and a woman were killed in their Honda Accord after a deadly crash. The five men died at the scene, and the woman died later at a hospital. The victims were all in their 20s.
“This is the worst crash in Lincoln in recent memory,” said Assistant Police Chief Michon Morrow. “We’ve been trying to think of another accident this bad and we haven’t come up with anything.”
The tragic incident is one of the first real-world examples of Apple’s new crash-detection technology, which can sense extreme changes in G-force related to acceleration or deceleration.
According to Apple, the phone can sense up to 256 Gs — 256 times the force of gravity. The phone then automatically calls 9-1-1 and the device’s emergency contacts.
“At 2:16 AM today, October 2, Lincoln Police Officers responded to a 911 call from an iPhone recording indicating the owner of the phone was in a severe crash and was not responding to their phone,” the Lincoln Police Department wrote on Facebook.
The car crashed into a tree on a street with a speed limit of 25 mph. The collision awoke members of the household next to the scene. Brad Bartak, who was alerted by his daughter, rushed to the car and smashed its rear window with a rock to try to extricate the occupants.
Soon after, the engine caught on fire and Bartak used a garden hose to put out the flames until firefighters arrived.
“He was the most caring and trusting person ever,” Kayla Kelley said of her brother Jonathan Koch, who died in the crash.
“Life is so short. In the blink of an eye, your world is shattering around you. But he would not want us to be heartbroken, he would want us to pick ourselves up and move forward,” she continued.
Police said there were no witnesses to the accident and they are still investigating the cause.
“The cause of this accident is going to take us some time to pin down,” Morrow said. “We are looking at all possibilities, including alcohol, speed or distracted driving.”