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iPhone run over by 18-wheeler, still works

updated 11:10 am EST, Thu January 31, 2008

iPhone vs. 18-wheeler

A Kansas man has posted photos of his fully functional iPhone after the device flew off the trunk of his car at freeway speeds, only to be run over by a semi truck traveling at an estimated 70 miles-per-hour. The man says his iPhone still works seamlessly in every way -- from making and receiving calls to sending text messages. "Much to my surprise, as I approached, I heard the familiar sound of my ringtone -- the iPhone was alive and ringing," the man recalled. "As I picked it up and cradled it gently in my hands, I saw the screen displaying my caller ID -- the screen still worked!"

"I slid my finger gently over the answer slide and paused as I held the tattered and torn device to my ear -- my heart must have skipped a beat when I heard my mom's voice at the other end of the phone -- the phone still worked!"

After filling up his car at a local gas station, the man pulled onto the freeway but forgot to retrieve his iPhone which was resting on the trunk. Realizing that his smartphone was missing and remembering where he had set the device roughly five minutes after pulling out of the gas station, the man quickly drove another 15 miles in the wrong direction to the next exit to turn around.

Finally arriving at the gas station, he saw no sign of the iPhone and was told by an attendant that no one had turned in a missing device. After searching the parking lot as well as the on-ramp for approximately half an hour, the man gave up his search and returned to his vehicle.

Merging back onto the freeway just past the on-ramp he had recently searched, the man saw a glimmering light in one of the lanes.

"As I sped past the object, I knew it was my phone -- still alive and working! I slammed on the brakes and pulled over, waiting for the passing cars and trucks to go by so I could run across two lanes of 75 mile-per-hour traffic to retrieve my poor phone," he said.

"As the last pair of headlights approached, the semi got over to the far outside lane because he saw me standing on the side of the road. I knew this was trouble. As I watched helplessly from the shoulder, the semi plowed my phone at full speed, throwing it to the ditch on the other side of the highway."

The man resolved himself to retrieving the iPhone just for the purpose of seeing the crushed and mangled mess he expected to find. What he discovered instead was a fully working device. Carrying the iPhone back to his car, the man inspected and tested it to ensure it was working properly.

What's more, the iPhone had been lying in the freeway for what the man estimates to be an hour before he retrieved the device.

"I know that approximately one hour went by between the time I knew I lost it and the time I recovered it -- who knows what else happened to it during that time. When the semi ran over it, the phone was sitting dead in the middle of one of the lanes -- it wouldn't be too hard to imagine it getting hit more than the one time I witnessed!"

Apple customer relations has expressed interest in using the iPhone in a forthcoming TV commercial, according to the man, which had already suffered various accidents prior to being run over.

"I've banged this phone up many times since I bought it the day they were released last June," he said. "I've dropped it down a flight of concrete stairs, slid it across a parking lot, dropped it on cement, and even partially submerged it in water and this little phone just keeps truckin!"

The iPhone how shows several 'bad spots' in the screen, according to the owner, but even those areas are still responsive to touch.

"This iPhone has been put through more hell than any crash test could put it through -- and with the exception of the obvious scratches on the back on the small dead spots on the screen, its amazing! None of the damage actually effects the functionality or performance of the phone."

by MacNN Staff





  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    try hard as they might

    For Apple, it would be very difficult to convincingly create an ad that would be as genuine and as compelling as an image of this device.

    I'm hoping this guy gets the full treatment for Apple (meaning, a new iPod(s) for his kid(s), a MBP and an iMac, in addition to a new replacement iPhone). Clearly, he is a fan, buying the device in June (and paying $500 for it, after the rebate). The amount of PR mileage Apple should be able to milk out of this story is huge compared to the value of few pieces of hardware.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    official acknowlegement

    I don't think Apple should advertise or send this message. Sure, this guy's iPhone survived a beating, and its very impressive. But any official acknowledgement by Apple will likely send the message to the masses that if this thing breaks because they abused it, then Apple should repair/replace it.

  1. TheBarty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No, of course...

    But because Apple will never advertise on a Jailbroken iPhone... ;-) Look at apps on the springboard !

  1. ibook_steve


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great example!

    So we have an extremely clumsy person here who has treated his $500 gadget like c*** (dropping it (in cement!!) submerging it, leaving it on his car to fall on the highway). This guy is a moron who doesn't deserve his iPhone. Hopefully, it will break next time when he walks on that thinly frozen lake near his house just to see if his weight plus the iPhone will not break the ice.

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    never say you're lucky...

    If he started crying about his misfortune like some big cry baby that's crying and whining, then I think he might get $100 of Applestore credit

    (but only if he cries enough...)

  1. ApeInTheShell

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pumping gas

    He claims he was pumping gas and took his iphone out of his jacket and set it on the trunk so he could put his heavier coat on himself. He forgot all about it and went to prepay for gas. He returned the gas station when he realized it was gone and didn't found it. Somehow he saw it on the side of the road going 75 mph and it was crushed by a semi truck and lo and behold it still worked. People always do stupid stuff like this and they are put up on a pedestal once they tell their miraculous story.

  1. ApeInTheShell

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple relations

    Oh if you read further down he talked to an Apple relations person about doing an iPhone commercial. I guess they will overlook it is jailbroken.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple should use this story to no end! Great story and I hope Apple gains hugely fom it!!

  1. anakin27705

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Submerged iPhone

    A couple of weeks ago, my iphone fell out of my belt clip and landed in a creek behind my house (ironically, I'm rarely outside and standing over bodies of water, but the one time I am...) Anyway, the phone was completely submerged for about 10 seconds and bubbles were coming up from it. I grabbed it and quickly got it inside, but alas, it looked like a goner - the icons were displaying randomly on and off, then the whole phone started rebooting over and over. Finally, I turned it off and was getting ready to plunk down another $400 a couple of days later when I gave it one more shot. Sure enough, it came on, asked to be plugged in to my Mac, and after two restore cycles (the first one failed), the thing now works beautifully!!

  1. jerryfrit

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Where is...

    ...John Cameron Swayze when you need him?

    (only fellow geezers will get it.)

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