US man dies driving off collapsed bridge while following Google Maps

Occurred: September 2022-

Medical device salesman Philip Paxson drowned after Google Maps allegedly directed him to cross a bridge that had collapsed nine years before and his car plunged into a creek.

Paxton’s body was found in his overturned and partially submerged truck after he had been driving home from his daughter's ninth birthday party on a route in North Carolina he did not know. According to local police, the bridge had not been maintained by local or state officials, and the original developer’s company had dissolved. 

Multiple people had notified Google Maps about the collapse in the years leading up to Paxson’s death and had urged the company to update its route information, according (pdf) to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accused Google of negligence. It also named several private property management companies allegedly responsible for the bridge and the adjoining land. 

Operator: Philip Paxson
Developer: Alphabet/Google
Country: USA
Sector: Travel/hospitality
Purpose: Direct drivers
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Safety
Transparency: Governance

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