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Occupant’s phone alerts first responders to car crash that killed 6 in their 20s

Lincoln, Nebraska. — A passenger’s cell phone automatically alerted first responders after a car struck a tree early Sunday in a crash in Nebraska that killed all six young occupants of the car. authorities said.

Five men in the Honda Accord died at the crash site around 2:15 am in Lincoln, about 3 miles east of the state Capitol, police said. A 24-year-old woman later died at a hospital where she was taken in critical condition.

The five who died included the 22-year-old driver. The other victims were a 21-year-old, a 23-year-old and two 22-year-olds.

Police have not released the names of the victims, but CBS affiliate KOLN-TV spoke to relatives who said Jonny Koch was killed in the crash.

“He wouldn’t want us to be heartbroken,” said Kayla Kelley, Koch’s sister. “He would want us to cheer up and move on.”

Police said the cause of the crash remains under investigation and the crash was reported by an iPhone that detected the impact and automatically called response services when the owner of the phone did not respond.

“This is the worst accident in Lincoln in recent memory,” said Lincoln Deputy Police Chief Michon Morrow. “We’ve been trying to think of another accident this bad and haven’t found anything.”

Investigators had been unable to find any witnesses to the crash by Sunday afternoon, which could make it difficult to determine what happened.

“The cause of this accident will take some time to pin down,” Morrow said. “We are looking at all possibilities, including alcohol, speeding or distracted driving.”

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