Did OnStar Save a Life?

cropped-logo_tpl_black.pngThis incident took place in Santa Clara County where a woman had an accident and then stayed in the car injured for 19 hours without any rescue coming to her. She drove off the road and ended going down Mount Hamilton. The incident took place on Monday but after hard search for her she was finally rescued the next day on Tuesday.

It was her iPad that helped the police find her. The police officers had to guess the password to her iPad in order to rescue her and it can be said that it was quite fortunate that they were able to discover her password after some tries.
She lives in Campbell and is about to turn 30 in a few years. She was riding her Chevrolet Cruze when the incident took place. After several efforts she was finally pulled out of her agony through an airlift done by Coast helicopter.

Officials from the San Jose fire department told the media that the lady has severely injured her lower parts of the body including her stomach area in the accident. However, they also said that her condition was critical only moderately. The biggest problem is that she must be in a state of shock after staying in the car injured for nearly a full day.

Firefighters had to go down 50 feet on the mountain to reach where the lady and her car were present. However, the final efforts to rescue her were made through the helicopter. The unfortunate event in all this was that the helicopter had to leave her there in distress for refueling before finally airlifting her.

There was the OnStar system on her car that had done its job by notifying the police of the accident at around 2PM Monday. The critical error made by OnStar system made here was that it did not provide police the right location of the lady and as per OnStar system’s notification they continued to search her in Camden Avenue.

Later, the system changed the location on the notification and now the police were sent to downtown San Jose for searching. They did not find the victim here too. After more than 13 hours had already passed the family contacted the police and told them that she was missing. They informed the police that she had never stayed out of the house for that long and that there was certainly something wrong with her.

One of the officers from Campbell police listened to the call and went to the family to inquire about the incidence. He asked the family if they had any smartphone of the lady with them but that was not the case. Finally, the police officer was given the iPad that the lady used to use. The problem here was that the iPad was locked and no one in the family knew its password. The next big challenge was to unlock the iPad and know her exact location through some locating application.

The police officer started to put in any possible passwords to unlock the iPad. Many attempts were unsuccessful when they tried her birthday and other numbers that could have been important to her. Lastly, the police officer was able to get into the iPad by entering the right password. After getting into the iPad he used the application installed on it to locate the mobile of the lady.
The application was successful in telling her exact location.

It was then found out that after going off the road the car had been capsized and was found in this position when the rescue reached the spot. However, after looking at the scene the officials from the police were not able to know what could have caused the accident in the first place.  The fire department from San Jose tried its best to rescue the lady from the car but all their attempts proved to be futile.

Lastly, it was the Coast Guard helicopter that was brought to her rescue. The unfortunate event happened here too as the helicopter had to leave her like that for the purpose of refueling. The helicopter then returned and rescued the lady after 19 hours of the accident. OnStar officials have also talked to media about the incident and have assured that they will have the whole matter fully investigated to find out what would have actually happened.

They will also have to answer as to why their system continuously provided wrong location of the car. They have contact centers and staff sitting to help people in such distressful scenarios with their OnStar system but they were not able to spot her location for more than half a day.

The story has two very unique aspects to it. First, it proves how technology completely failed to find the location of the person who had the accident – which means the technology did not do what it was supposed to do. Secondly, we see that the lady was finally rescued only because of technology. Had her location not been found by entering her iPad, she would not have been rescued even now.

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