SAFETY

How the Find My Friends app saved this 17-year-old’s life

Jun 17, 2019, 12:05 PM
The Find My Friends App that allows friends and family to share their locations with each other was instrumental in finding Macy Smith after she lost control of her car and was trapped in an embankment. (Photo Macy Smith Facebook)
(Photo Macy Smith Facebook)

A teenager in North Carolina is alive today after a horrible car accident. Her mother found her and called for help — all because when the teen missed curfew, her mom knew that was out of character, so she checked an app called Find My Friends.

The accident

17-year-old Macy Smith had been heading to meet a friend on the afternoon of June 7 when her car started to hydroplane on a winding portion of US 52.

Smith lost control and slid off the road where, after flipping 3 times, came to rest between two trees, 25 feet down a ravine, with her arm pinned between the car and the ground.

“The first hour, I was frantic,” she told WXII. “I was looking for ways to get out. I was thinking of just different things I could do.”

She started looking around the vehicle trying to get ahold of her phone but she couldn’t find it after the crash.

“As I laid there I thought that it was the end for a minute. In the very beginning, I was like, ‘What if they never find me?” she continued. “What if the location doesn’t pick up? What if I don’t have good service? All these different things were running through my mind and I never really thought that it was the end because I knew, honestly, I knew that with the Bible laying beside my head, it meant that I was going to be okay.”

Smith told WXII that she lay there, pinned, for 7 hours. During that time she watched 28 cars come and go while she waited and hoped that someone would find her.

The Find My Friends app

When her daughter didn’t come home at the time she was supposed to, her mother, Catrina Alexander, knew something wasn’t right, especially after she didn’t respond to their texts and calls.

“The lack of response was out of character for her,” she told WFMY.

That’s when she started to look for the little blue dot on Find My Friends, the app that allows people to share their location with friends and family.

Alexander said that she and her family set out looking for the little pulsing blue dot that showed the location of her daughter’s phone. As they wound down the same two-lane road, when they came upon a set of tire tracks running off the road and into the ravine, that was all they could see.

A life saved

Smith was hidden from view almost 25 feet down the embankment. Then, she heard the voices of her family.

“I knew they were going to show up and I’m so thankful for my family and we’re such a tight family that I knew that I wasn’t going to be there the whole night without them looking for me,” Smith said.

Smith suffered a fractured neck and nerve damage in her left arm.

Smith and her mother both told WXII that this accident showed them the importance of using mobile tracking apps. They are encouraging other families to do the same.

“I know it’s hard for teenagers to give up your privacy, but sneaking out and being places you don’t want your parents to know about is not worth being trapped under a car for seven hours,” Smith told ABC News.

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How the Find My Friends app saved this 17-year-old’s life