Faulty GPS directions led to the death of a North Carolina man last week, People reported on Thursday.
Phil Paxson, 47, was on his way home from celebrating his daughter’s 9th birthday last week when his GPS led him down a road on a “dark and rainy night,” Paxson’s mother-in-law Linda McPhee Koenig shared on Facebook.
Paxson, who was following his GPS, proceeded to head to the site of a bridge that was destroyed nine years ago and “never repaired” again, Koenig noted.
The lack of barriers or warning signs around the destroyed bridge –– which would have gone over a creek –– cost him his life, she said.
Paxson was later discovered dead inside his Jeep.
Breaking Hickory- a driver is dead after going off a closed bridge overnight. Friends say they found him this morning along 24th Street Place NE. The highway patrol says the road is not state maintained and there were no barriers. Watch channel 9 for updates. pic.twitter.com/VdsXioX4HA
— Dave Faherty (@FahertyWSOC9) October 1, 2022
North Carolina State Highway Patrol reported that barricades meant to warn drivers of the destroyed bridge “were apparently removed” from the area, according to WCNC-TV.
“He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. It was a totally preventable accident. We are grieving his death,” Koenig wrote of Paxson, a father of two.
Koenig later shared a GoFundMe organized by the man’s sister-in-law to raise money for the family.
REST IN PEACE 🙏 | Philip Paxson died after his Jeep plunged into a creek; the bridge he thought he was taking had washed away in 2013. More: https://t.co/u2SKIloffO@MorganFrancesTVpic.twitter.com/ZU6GMdn4rr
— Queen City News (@Queen_City_News) October 3, 2022
The site of the destroyed bridge — located in Hickory, North Carolina — has left neighbors “fed up” over the years and it’s been a concern that “no one wants to claim responsibility” for in the community, WCNC-TV reported.
The road leading up to the bridge is not owned by a local municipality or the state, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Paxson’s friend Jon Hopson told the news station that they’ve heard “time after time” that it’s “a private road and no one is responsible for the road.”
Kayla Bubar, Paxson’s sister-in-law, said she’s hoping to find who is responsible for the destroyed bridge.
“Phil did not deserve to die like that and it is a horrible thing to go through. His children now have no father,” Bubar told WCNC-TV.
“We are not going to let it go and we are going to find out who is responsible for it.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.