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Apple Watch gets help for victims of incredibly violent car crash

Car crash in San Bernardino county. (Source: OnScene.TV via KTLA)

Five people had to be rescued from a car after it collided head-on with a palm tree, triggering the Crash Detection feature in a passenger's Apple Watch.

Apple's addition of a Crash Detection feature in Apple Watch has been criticized for false alerts, but it's also repeatedly saved lives. Now the California Highway Patrol (CHP) credits it with how officers were quickly able to locate a crashed car and take the injured occupants to hospital.

According to KTLA, a single Hyundai Sonata with five occupants, crashed into a palm tree on the 15 Freeway at Jurupa Avenue in Ontario, San Bernardino. The car contained five occupants, and it was the Apple Watch belonging to one of the passengers that alerted local authorities.

"When officers arrived, they found a single vehicle into a tree," a CHP spokesperson told KTLA, "[with] five parties trapped."

Two of the people in the car were taken to hospital, one in what was described as minor condition, and one in moderate condition.

The incident occurred shortly before 2 A.M. Pacific on Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

Apple introduced Crash Detection in 2022, with the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8. It works through a combination of sensors in both the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

It's because the sensors include an accelerometer that sudden stops can trigger false alarms. This is why riders on rollercoasters have been particularly prone to false positives.