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iPhone alert, screams for help lead Ore. first responders to crash victim

Rescuers in Veronia said it was impossible to see the crash site due to the heavy brush.


Mist Berkenfeld RFPD/Facebook

By Helena Wegner
The Charlotte Observer

VERONIA, Ore. — A woman’s iPhone alert and her screams for help led rescuers to her crashed vehicle in Oregon, firefighters said and news outlets reported.

The driver plunged more than 30 feet from an embankment on Friday, July 28, and was “buried in heavy brush” along a road in Vernonia, the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District said in a Facebook post.

Her iPhone sent an SOS alert to first responders, KGW reported.

But when rescuers reached the area, they couldn’t find the crash, the fire department said.

Then a call came in from a resident who reported hearing someone screaming for help, rescuers said.

Their call led rescuers to the woman who was down an embankment. “It was basically impossible to see (the vehicle) from the road,” fire officials said.

First responders helped the woman up the embankment.

“Thank you for saving my daughter. She is doing okay. Really bruised upped,” Della Rodriguez commented on Facebook.

“I don’t know how I lived or anything, but it was amazing,” the woman, who wasn’t identified publicly, told KGW. “What was even more amazing was that I had SOS on my iPhone. So I managed to do that and got out of the truck and I started screaming.”

Certain iPhone and Apple Watch models have a Crash Detection system that alerts first responders to severe crashes.

Vernonia is about 45 miles northwest of Portland.

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