Driver’s smartphone alerted police to fatal wreck on Glenn Highway near JBER

Anchorage police say an automated emergency phone alert provided an early indication of a fatal, fiery single-vehicle crash early Sunday on a frontage road near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Dispatchers received an automated crash alert just after 5 a.m. from an iPhone showing a location near the Glenn Highway and Fort Richardson exit, the Anchorage Police Department said. At 5:05 a.m., members of the base’s fire and police departments responded to a report of a fire in the trees in the area and found the vehicle engulfed in flames and off the road, police said.

The only person in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. That person had not been publicly identified by Monday morning. It was not immediately clear what led to the crash.

Newer iPhones and Apple watches can detect severe car crashes and will call emergency responders if the owner is unresponsive after the crash.

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said Monday that the department did not expect to release additional details for several days.

Another person died Saturday after the vehicle they were in caught fire in East Anchorage. The Anchorage Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire, police said Monday.