Man hears busy signal, automated system before giving up
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2012 -- After trying four times to reach a live operator on 911 after a car hit his vehicle, Dallas resident Kelvin Crowe gave up. As he exited his car to flag down help, he was struck by a passing vehicle.
“The first three calls, the line was busy,” Crowe told ABC Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate WFAA Wednesday. On the fourth call, “the automated machine said, ‘All other operators are busy assisting other callers,” Crowe told the TV station. "It said, ‘Hold for the next available operator.’ I held for maybe a minute. It made a funny sound, so we hung up.”
The trouble began last Saturday night when Crowe’s tire blew out while he was driving. As he was pulling the car over to the shoulder of the road another vehicle hit his vehicle from behind.
Crowe’s fiancee had been injured in the crash. He called 911 using his cell phone. He made calls at 11:48, 11:49, 11:54 and 11:58, according to WFAA, but never reached the 911 call center.
That’s when Crowe left the vehicle to attempt to hail down help from the road.
“I just heard the tire screeching and then, ‘Bam!’” Crowe said. “I just kept saying, ‘Lord, please don’t take me. I got kids depending on me. Don’t take me … don’t take me.'”
Crowe’s injuries included a broken arm, bruised leg, and lacerated right eye.
“Maybe if we’d have gotten a response, or if police would have answered, then I would have just stayed in the truck a little longer,” Crowe said. “That way I wouldn’t have walked back down there and it would have been avoided.”
The City of Dallas said it is not at blame for the incident.
“The city of Dallas conducted a review of the calls during the time period of this incident,” read a statement from City Hall. “At this time, we cannot find any indication that the Dallas 911 call center received a call from Mr. Crowe’s cell number.”
“It went into the antenna, but it didn’t come to us,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told WFAA.
“We’ve got proof it didn’t show up at 911. … The call got into T-Mobile’s antenna, and it didn’t get to us. It wasn’t sent appropriately. One of those things that just didn’t hit up.”
In a statement, the City of Dallas said its 911 call center had received other calls at the same time Crowe made his and that the service was not at capacity at the time.
The Dallas Police Department lieutenant who manages the call center visited Crowe in the hospital Tuesday to obtain his account of the incident, a city spokesman told WFAA.
“Cell phones can be extremely valuable in emergency situations. However, cell phone users should always be aware of the limitations in cell phone technology in relationship with 911 systems,” read the city of Dallas’ statement.
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