For most people, using a GPS system in your car or on your phone is an everyday occurrence.
But for a man from North Carolina, relying on his GPS system led to a… devastating mistake that cost him his life.
On September 30, Phil Paxson was driving home from his daughter’s birthday party on a reportedly stormy night in Hickory, North Carolina, when his GPS system led him to what had once been a bridge.
“He followed his GPS which led him over a concrete road to a bridge that descended into a river. The bridge was destroyed nine years ago and never repaired,” said Paxson’s mother-in-law. wrote on Facebook. “There were no barriers or warning signs to prevent the death of a 47-year-old father of two daughters. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. It was a completely preventable accident.”
Paxon’s wife too Posted on her Facebook page, she said she wanted to make people “aware of what an avoidable tragedy this is”.
Per reports of the incident, barricades had been put up to warn drivers not to drive through the area, but people had been complaining for “years” about how badly it needed to be repaired.
The roadway is private, meaning the North Carolina Department of Transportation cannot actively repair it, as it is not considered a public property.
“In North Carolina, counties do not maintain roads. In general, owners of private roads associated with subdivisions can be the subdivision developers, a homeowners association, or the subdivision property owners,” WCNC reported in North Carolina.
According to psychregmore than 200,000 accidents are caused by GPS devices every year.