Apple alert 'instrumental' in search for 18yo friends after 4WD tumbles down embankment

Joanna Beach and Bondi Richmond, both 18, were killed in the 'serious' single-vehicle accident in New Zealand.

An “instrumental” Apple alert has led to the discovery of the bodies of two close friends who died after the 4WD they were driving in tumbled down a steep embankment.

Joanna Lois Beach and Bondi Reihana Richmond, both 18, were killed in the “serious” single-vehicle accident on an off-roading track in New Zealand’s Mount Richmond Forest Park at about 11pm on Monday, police have confirmed.

Bondi Reihana Richmond and Joanna Beach who were killed in a car accident in New Zealand, triggering an Apple  crash detection beacon.
An Apple crash detection beacon alerted police to the serious car crash that killed Bondi Reihana Richmond (left) and Joanna Beach (right). Source: Facebook/Instagram

Officers were alerted that the teens’ vehicle had veered about 150 metres from Beeby’s Knob driving track by the Apple crash detection feature, which contacts emergency services if the owner of the iPhone doesn’t respond, reports.

Apple alert 'pinpointed' teens' bodies after crash

A helicopter, police and rescue teams rushed to the area and were able to find the vehicle quickly thanks to the technology.

“The location the alert pinpointed was instrumental in locating the deceased teens,” a police spokesperson told the publication. “Inquiries into the circumstances of the crash were ongoing and will be presented to the coroner.”

Joanna and Bondi were reportedly found outside the 4WD.

Tributes are now flowing for the young friends. In a comment on Bondi’s last TikTok video, her dad said the 18-year-old was the “most beautiful, amazing daughter”. “Love you Bondi,” he wrote.

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