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Crash Detection helps police locate teenagers killed in New Zealand

New Zealand authorities say that Apple's iPhone Crash Detection was instrumental in helping them find the site where two teenage women were killed in an off-road crash.

Apple's Crash Detection feature

Teenagers Joanna Beach and Bondi Reihana Richmond died in a crash in Mount Richmond Forest Park, toward the northernmost of New Zealand's south island. They were in a four-wheel drive (4WD), driving through Beebys Knob Track at 11:00 P.M. local time on Monday, April 8, 2024, when the accident happened.

No other vehicles are reported to have been involved. According to the New Zealand Herald, police said that "inquiries into the cause of the crash are ongoing and will be presented to the coroner; however, the vehicle was found down a steep bank."

Access to Beebys Knob Track is restricted, with 4WD drivers only allowed from December 1 to April 30, when they can use the route as long as they have a permit. The two teenagers had the correct permit.

Police and rescuers say that they were alerted to the incident by the Crash Detection feature on at least one of the women's iPhones. "The location the alert pinpointed was instrumental in locating the deceased teens," the continued.

If reports that the vehicle went over the side of a bank are correct, it's not the first time that similar incidents have triggered Apple's Crash Detection.