“Siri saves lives” should be the new slogan for Apple iPhone’s advertising campaign, after a Tennessee teenager managed to use the voice controlled assistant on his iPhone to call 911 for help while he was under a 5,000-pound truck. Thanks to a combination of luck and modern technology, 18-year old Tennessee resident Sam Ray was able to escape with relatively minor injuries.
It all started when Ray decided to get under his Dodge Dakota truck to check on his breaks while no one was home. Unfortunately for him, the jack that was propping up the vehicle gave out and trapped his body and left hand underneath it. With just one free right hand, there wasn’t much he could do to save himself so he actually started to pray, which inadvertently got Siri’s attention (his iPhone was in his back pocket).
Mustering every last bit of patience and concentration he could manage, he was able to coaxed Siri into ‘butt-dialing’ 911 for help. Thanks to dispatcher Christina Lee’s quick thinking, she was able to get a general sense of Ray’s location by triangulating his cellphone signal, but did not know exactly where to send emergency crew to help the distressed teen. Good thing he was yelling his address repeatedly, with the hope that the dispatcher could hear him as he couldn’t hear her at all.
After being under his truck for about 40-minutes, Ray was starting to give up. “I could feel myself slipping,” Ray told the Tenessean. “I was starting to accept that I wouldn’t get out.”
Thankfully, firefighters arrived just in time and were able to get the truck off Ray, at which point the teen was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Although he suffered several broken ribs, a bruised kidney, cuts, a concussion and burns to his left arm, he was extremely lucky to walk away such an accident in relatively good condition, according to Vanderbilt’s chief of trauma and surgical care Rick Miller. It could have been much worst.
Needless to say, Ray is now an iPhone fan for life, which seems like a fair trade after Siri saved his life, “I owe them that.” He even tried to thank Siri, but she didn’t understand the concept of gratitude. Although artificial intelligence hasn’t quite advanced to the point of understanding human sentiments (at least for now), it certainly knows how to dial 911 for help.