Dad of two dies after GPS directs him to washed-away bridge, North Carolina family says

It was a rainy night, and Paxson’s GPS routed him to a bridge that didn’t exist. That’s when his Jeep went over a concrete road, plunging into water. — Unsplash

A father of two is dead after his GPS directed him to a bridge that washed away in 2013 in North Carolina, his family says.

Phil Paxson, 47, was driving home from his daughter’s ninth birthday celebration the night of Friday, Sept 30, his mother-in-law wrote in a Facebook post. It was a rainy night, and Paxson’s GPS routed him to a bridge that didn’t exist. That’s when his Jeep went over a concrete road, plunging into water.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator was found overturned and partially submerged around 10am Saturday, Oct 1, according to a news release from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Troopers believe the crash occurred around 11pm on Friday.

The bridge, located at 24th Street Place NE in Hickory, washed away in July 2013 due to flooding, the Hickory Daily Record reported.

Typically, barricades are in place to prevent drivers from crossing the bridge, troopers said. The barricades were removed after being vandalised and were missing at the time of Paxson’s wreck.

Investigators say they determined that the roadway is not owned or managed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

In 2014, neighbours considered legal action after the bridge was not repaired, WSOC-TV reported. The developer was considered responsible for the private roadway at the time.

Since then, that development company has been dissolved, according to Queen City News. A local property management company says the original developer is its predecessor. It is meeting with attorneys to determine who is responsible for the road.

Paxson’s family and friends want answers and are demanding that someone take responsibility.

“This was a preventable, senseless and tragic death,” a friend wrote on Facebook.

“This was a known hazard,” Paxson’s wife wrote in a Facebook post. “Just an accident waiting to happen. Phil had to lose his life to bring awareness.”

Hickory is about 55 miles northwest of Charlotte. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!



Next In Tech News

U.S. lawmakers say some fintechs failed to prevent 'obvious' pandemic fraud
U.S. CFTC chairman says met with former FTX chief 10 times over clearing application
Exclusive-Meta sought to settle EU antitrust investigations, sources say
U.S. Justice Department weighs new guidance on messaging apps, clawback policies -official
Salesforce shares tumble after surprise exit of co-CEO Taylor
FTX ex-CEO Bankman-Fried says he did not know of improper use of customer funds -ABC News
India's digital rupee fails to excite interest, bankers say
Netflix to let more subscribers preview content - WSJ
US Amazon facility shows off robots built for faster deliveries
Google says hacking tools are likely tied to Spanish firm

Others Also Read