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His Car Plunged Into Freezing River. Siri Played the Hero

'Hey Siri, call 911' helped Gael Salcedo get out of the river alive
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2019 7:15 AM CST
Stock photo of an snowy landscape.   (Getty Images/den-belitsky)

(Newser) – A young Iowa man is thanking firefighters and Apple's Siri for getting him out of an icy river alive. Gael Salcedo, 18, was on his way to North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City on Tuesday when he hit a patch of ice and lost control of his Jeep, which plunged into the Winnebago River. Salcedo quickly rolled down his window, afraid the vehicle would sink in the fast-flowing, icy water. And that's when he realized he couldn't find his phone. Then he remembered Siri, he tells KIMT. "Hey Siri, call 911," Salcedo said.

The responding Mason City Fire Department managed to get to him and told him that, with the river pinning the driver door shut, he'd need to climb out the passenger side door and walk the rest of the way out of the river. "I used all my strength" but "the water was just so strong," he tells KIMT. "I kept tripping, and I had the guy help me up a bunch of times," he adds. "My hands were freezing. I couldn't feel my legs anymore." Treated for shock, he's now extra appreciative of first responders—and of Apple's virtual assistant. (Here's another time Siri came to the rescue.)

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