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Local News

Teen Rescued After Dad Uses iPhone to Locate Overnight Crash Site

17-year-old spent the night near his car's wreckage after plunging some 200 feet down from Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara

Emergency personnel on Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara assist in the rescue of a 17-year-old boy, who crashed his car and was found by his father, who used the tracking device in his iPhone.
Emergency personnel on Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara assist in the rescue of a 17-year-old boy, who crashed his car and was found by his father, who used the tracking device in his iPhone.  (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)

Santa Barbara County Fire Helicopter 309 moves into position to hoist a 17-year-old boy from a crash site off Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara. The teen spent the night near the wreckage of his car before his father found him Saturday using a tracking device in his iPhone. (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)
Santa Barbara County Fire Helicopter 309 moves into position to hoist a 17-year-old boy from a crash site off Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara. The teen spent the night near the wreckage of his car before his father found him Saturday using a tracking device in his iPhone. (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)

Modern technology — in the form of a cell phone — led to the rescue of a 17-year-old boy Saturday after he spent the night near the wreckage of his car in the mountains above Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara Fire Department.

Rescue personnel responded to the scene in the 2900 block of Gibraltar Road at about 3:40 p.m. Saturday after the teen’s father found his son — who failed to return home the night before — by “pinging” his cell phone, said city fire Capt. Chris Mailes.

“The patient’s father found his son using his son’s iPhone tracking device,” Mailes said. “The father initiated the 9-1-1 call to the Santa Barbara City 9-1-1 dispatch center.”

The boy, whose name was not released, had gone over the side of the road sometime Friday night, and his vehicle came to rest about 200 feet down the steep hillside, Mailes said.

He had attempted to walk out after the crash, but only made it about 150 feet from his vehicle, Mailes said.

Personnel from the Santa Barbara City, Montecito and Santa Barbara County departments, the U.S. Forest Service and American Medical Response assisted in the rescue.

County Fire Helicopter 309 hoisted the victim from the scene, and he was flown to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was treated for neck and back pain and probable dehydration. His condition was not immediately available.

The cause of the accident was under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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