Teen Survives Major Crash After BMW Car Dials 999 On His Behalf
A 14-year-old managed to escape death after the BMW he was travelling in dialled 999 when it was involved in a crash.
Bradley Duke had been riding in the backseat alongside his brother Hayden, while their mum was in the driver's seat at the front.
The car suddenly hit black ice, causing mum Claire to lost control of the vehicle, which was driving at 55mph.
Bradley suffered serious skull and spine fractures in the crash, which left him fighting for his life in the footwell of the car.
His mum Claire, now 40, fell unconscious as a result of the collision. When she came around, she heard an unfamiliar female voice coming from the dashboard, which told her: "We know where you are and help is on its way."
At the time, Claire didn't realise the crash had triggered a BMW safety feature, and began to frantically search the car for her phone.
Mum-of-three Claire,who also has an eight-week-old daughter called Sienna, said: "I was in a state of complete panic, I had no idea what to do.
"The seriousness of the situation still hadn't kicked in because of the shock."
Miraculously, however, a road and air ambulance arrived at the scene and paramedics were able to save Bradley's life with just seconds to spare - before flying him to hospital, where he was placed into intensive care and a nine-day coma.
It was only later that Claire realised emergency services had been deployed to the crash scene by a safety feature in her 2014 BMW 3 Series, which sends for help when the airbags go off.
She now believes technology saved her son's life, after doctors said Bradley would have died had he not been treated so quickly.
Claire said: "He would not be with us now if it weren't for that safety feature in the car.
"If he had been lying there for just a few moments more he would have died."
The incident took place on a rural Sheffield road on 13 January 2017, when Claire was driving her two sons to school.
While she and Hayden only suffered minor injuries, Bradley's were much more serious as he had removed his seat belt moments before the crash, according to police reports - with Claire believing he did so out of sheer panic.
Claire continued: "When I woke up I was really confused because there was a woman's voice speaking, I thought maybe I had rung someone by accident.
"It was saying, 'We know where you are and help is on its way'.
"I looked back and saw Bradley slumped in the backseat so went to check on him, I could tell he was hurt but I thought he had probably just bumped his head."
She realised that a piece of Bradley's skill was missing and that some of the flesh inside was exposed. Seconds later, he then stopped breathing and lost consciousness.
Claire said: "That's when the fear really kicked in, I had no idea what to do. I was panicking."
She added: "I still wasn't sure that help was on its way."
Eventually a paramedic arrived, followed by an air ambulance and police. Bradley was placed in an induced coma on the road, before being flown to Sheffield Children's Hospitaland taken straight to theatre for brain surgery.
After coming out of surgery Bradley, who is now 17, was placed on a life support machine.
Claireexplained: "It was such a traumatic time, I couldn't stop blaming myself and asking whether I should have made the car journey that I did.
"I'll never stop asking myself those questions."
Bradley finally woke up after nine days in hospital, but the recovery process was far from over.
After being discharged a month later, he had to relearn many basic skills like reading and writing, which he had lost as a result of the head injury.
Bradley said: "I don't remember anything about the crash, I blacked out.
"The first thing I remember was waking up in the hospital with wires everywhere.
"I had to ask my family what had happened because I didn't know.
"I was scared but really thankful to be alive."
He added: "I feel very lucky, if it wasn't for the technology in the car and the doctors in the hospital, I wouldn't be here today.
"It's amazing what the technology can do. Nobody knew the car had that feature."
A BMW spokesman explained that, when the airbags are set off in an accident, BMW will call the car via its onboard SIM card.
If it gets no reply from the passengers, emergency services are deployed to the crash scene immediately.
The spokesman added: "We are so delighted that Bradley and Claire are fit and well after their awful crash."
Bradley has since taken part in a fundraising drive to raise over £500,000 for a helipad at Sheffield Children's Hospital, which is where he was flown to and treated.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS