iPhone "Crash Activation" system utilized during fatal car crash near Milledgeville Walmart


An Eatonton man most likely "suffered from some type of medical emergency" prior to wrecking his Chevrolet Tahoe into a treeline near Walmart on Thursday morning.

Willie Lee Andrews, 55, later passed away at the local hospital. Bernard's Family Funeral Care in Eatonton has charge of arrangements

A Milledgeville Police Department press release made reference to the "iPhone Crash Activation" system (or "Crash Detection"), which is how first responders initially were alerted of the accident. Patrol officers then responded to the signal north of Walmart.

Once Crash Detection "detects a severe car crash, your device can help connect you to emergency services," according to Apple. It's available for iPhone 14s and up, as well as many Apple Watches. The feature also allows users to add emergency contacts, so your "device sends a message to share your location and let (your emergency contacts) know that you've been in a severe car crash. Users also have the option of syncing their Apple "Medical ID" to Crash Detection in order to allow "emergency responders access to your medical information."

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According to the company, here's the protocol: "When a severe car crash is detected, your iPhone or Apple Watch sounds an alarm and displays an alert:

  • "Your iPhone reads the alert, in case you can’t see the screen. If you have only your phone, the screen displays an Emergency Call slider and your phone can call emergency services.
  • "Your Apple Watch chimes and taps your wrist, and checks in with you on the screen. If you have only your watch, the screen displays an Emergency Call slider. If you have a watch with cellular or your watch is connected to Wi-Fi, it can call emergency services.
  • "If you have your iPhone and Apple Watch, the Emergency Call slider appears only on your watch, and the call is connected and the call audio plays from your watch.
  • "If you’re able, you can choose to call emergency services or dismiss the alert.
  • "If you’re unable to respond, your device automatically calls emergency services after a 20-second delay.

Andrews' funeral is on Friday. Added the MPD press release: "When officers approached the vehicle, a male subject was unresponsive in the driver’s seat with his seatbelt on. Officers quickly removed the driver from the vehicle and began CPR and other life-saving measures until Milledgeville Fire Rescue and Navicent Health EMS arrived on scene. The male was transported by EMS to Navicent Health Baldwin where he was pronounced deceased a short time later.

"The preliminary investigation reveals the vehicle was traveling northbound on North Columbia Street when it crossed over both southbound lanes and left the roadway on the west side of North Columbia Street. The vehicle then continued traveling into the tree line, striking several trees before coming to a stop. At this time, it is believed the driver suffered from some type of medical emergency that caused him to crash.

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