Apple Watch helps college student after rollover crash

With one touch the watch dialed 911

CATONSVILLE, Md. - College student Casey Bennett, 22, describes his near death experience lightly, saying he's just happy to be alive.

"She kept going, and then I heard a crunch, and I was like ugh, now my car's going to be in the shop for like two weeks this sucks. The next thought I had was you're upside down." 

April 6, 2017 was a normal day for Bennett, he was hanging out with a friend from school, they went to Target, bought a bag of jelly beans and then drove to campus.

"She had a class so I dropped her off, and I was just coming home, and the sunset just looked really pretty. It had been raining all day, and the next thing I know, uh, you know, it happened," Bennett said in a matter of fact way.

He was at Edmondson Avenue and Oak Lodge Road, near a busy intersection in Catonsville.

"Airbags smell like gunpowder when they go off. I thought the car was on fire because I saw smoke and just kinda smelled something burning and I was like, 'Oh no! Now I have to plan how to get out of this before the car explodes,' and then I kinda like looked around and was like, okay, it's not on fire," Bennett said chuckling.

"The next thought was, you're upside down again." Bennett said during the roll, his phone flew out of the center console and smacked his nose. It came to rest on the shattered windshield out of reach.

Once the car stopped, Bennett found himself dangling from the driver's seat, restrained only by the seatbelt as the car rested on its side.

"I was trying to figure out if I could get out, and I was like nope, you're just going to have to hang out here," Bennett said.

It was then that he pushed one button on his Apple Watch.

"I just pressed down this side button on here for six seconds and it called 911," Bennett said. The Apple Watch also sent a text to his emergency contacts letting them know he's in trouble, as well as his location.

"I'm sure someone else called 911, but it was just really cool to be able to talk to someone for six minutes because it would've felt like much longer, waiting, like not knowing if someone was coming," Bennett said.

Firefighters helped him climb through the sunroof of the totaled Jeep Patriot, and he walked to the ambulance waiting for him.

On the way, an officer asked him if he had jelly beans, and informed him they were scattered all over the road. Details like this make the story light for him to retell.

The emergency message from the watch alerted his dad who was around the corner at home, and he met Bennett at the scene then rode with him to the hospital.

Once there, the watch sent another message to his emergency contacts updating his location. 

Bennett had a bruise across his chest from the seatbelt and a bruised knee from it hitting the driver's side door during the flips.

Two and a half weeks later he's fine, and driving again in a new car.

"My friends ask me that, they're like are you like anxious or anything? I was like I've been driving for six years and this happened once, I'm okay," he said chuckling.

He sent a message to Tim Cook, thanking them for the emergency function on the watch, and he got a response saying they were glad he was okay.

His optimism and renewed respect for his seatbelt keep him moving forward, and faith helps him trust what's around the corner.

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