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OnStar Helps After Member Crashes into a Creek

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OnStar sends for help when a Member’s truck runs off the road and into a creek.

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OnStar sends for help when a Member’s truck runs off the road and into a creek.

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When Jennifer Allen’s truck went off the road and into a creek in Montana, OnStar quickly contacted help to save the day

After a long day at work as a recreation technician maintaining campgrounds and trails for the U.S. Forest Service in Missoula, Montana, Jennifer Allen was ready to kick off her July Fourth weekend. She planned to drive a few hours to Great Falls for dinner, shopping and a movie, and a coveted hot shower at a nice hotel.

She bought gas and then drove for about 30 minutes before she felt an itch. “Not like a nerve itch,” Allen says. “It was like an itch I had the week before when I found a tick. I leaned over to pull my sock down and scratch my foot.”

When Allen looked up again, she realized she was veering off the road.

“I pulled the wheel to the left to try to get back on the road, but I overcorrected and flew over the side,” Allen says. Her 2005 Chevrolet Colorado landed in Mill Coulee Creek.

Just as Allen briefly wondered how anyone would ever find her, she heard the reassuring sound of an Emergency-Certified OnStar Advisor*64 saying OnStar detected she was in a crash*16 and asking Allen if she was OK.

“It was a scary situation. It was really a great comfort when that OnStar Advisor said, ‘We’re here. We know where you are, and we’ll get emergency vehicles to you,’” Allen says. “That was the most comforting voice I ever heard.”

After EMTs helped Allen from her vehicle, they transported her to the hospital for treatment for a broken thumb.

“I was probably a little drowsy when I was driving, which probably led to the lack of judgement that caused the accident,” Allen says. “I’m usually the first one to tell new drivers, ‘Never take your eyes off the road. Anything can wait. Get to a place where you can safely pull off the road.’ Of course, what do I do? I take my eyes off the road.”

Automatic Crash Response*16 isn’t the only OnStar service that has helped the 45-year-old.

“Montana is a big state,” Allen says. “There are a lot of rural areas, and it’s easy to run out of gas while you are on your way to the gas station. Defensive-driving classes in Montana teach drivers not to leave their vehicles for any reason. It’s not the people you have to worry about; it’s the wildlife.”

So, on another occasion when she found herself stranded with an empty gas tank, Allen pushed her blue OnStar button for Roadside Assistance*17 and an Advisor contacted a local service provider to bring her gas.

“That’s a lifesaving feature to me. Every vehicle should have OnStar,” says Allen, who now drives an OnStar-equipped 2015 Chevrolet Equinox. “The human element with the Advisor is the difference. Even though a vehicle can alert OnStar to contact police and fire and an ambulance, it was that human voice that was really calming and brought me back to reality.”