California Couple Whose Car Went off a Cliff Saved by iPhone's Emergency SOS Feature

This could have turned out very differently.

Earlier this month, the Apple iPhone's emergency SOS system saved a man stranded in Alaska, and the satellite feature just came in very handy for a California couple whose car went off a cliff in an area with no cell reception. The couple were driving on the Angeles Forest Highway in Crescenta Valley when the accident happened—and if they hadn't had access to the SOS system, there's no telling when they might have been found. Here's what happened to the couple.

Stranded In a Canyon


The couple were driving on the Angeles Forest Highway when their car went off the side of the road and fell 300 ft down the canyon. The man and woman in their 20s made it out of the car with mild to moderate injuries, but found themselves stranded with no cell reception in the remote location. Without cellular service, they might have been in serious trouble. 

Emergency Call


Luckily, one of the pair had the iPhone 14, which has an emergency satellite option for anyone in trouble. It might have saved their lives. "This afternoon at approximately 1:55 PM, @CVLASD received a call from the Apple emergency satellite service," tweeted the Montrose Search & Rescue Team (Ca.) "The informant and another victim had been involved in a single vehicle accident on Angeles Forest Hwy near mile marker 18.87, Angeles Forest."

No Cell Signal

Montrose Search & Rescue Team (Ca.)/Twitter

Search and Rescue confirmed there was no cellular service in the place where the car went off the road. "Their vehicle had gone off the side of the mountain, approximately 300'. They were in a remote canyon with no cellular phone service. The victims were able to extricate themselves from the car."

SOS Signal


The Apple satellite service was able to tell Search and Rescue precisely where the couple were. "Using the emergency satellite service on their iPhone 14, they were able to communicate to a relay center via text. The center contacted our station who dispatched us, @LACOFD, patrol units, and @SEBLASD Air Rescue 5. The call center gave us an accurate latitude and longitude for the victims."

Success, By Apple

Montrose Search & Rescue Team (Ca.)/Twitter

The pair were taken to safety by rescue helicopter. "Air Rescue 5 was able to locate the victims and insert a paramedic. The paramedic learned the patients, a male and female in their 20s, had mild to moderate injuries. The helicopter was able to hoist the victims out of the canyon and transport them to a local area hospital."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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