Father of 2 dies in crash after GPS directs him to bridge that was washed away

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By stefan armitage

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The family of a man who tragically died after following GPS directions over a washed-out bridge has spoken out.

As reported by PEOPLE, North Carolina father Phil Paxson was driving home after celebrating his daughter's ninth birthday in Hickory. His family had enjoyed a barbeque at a friend's house, before he and his wife and children set off in different vehicles.

In a Facebook post written by Paxson's mother-in-law, Linda McPhoee Koeing, she explains: "It was a dark and rainy night and [Phil] was following his GPS which led him down a concrete road to a bridge that dropped off into a river.

"The bridge had been destroyed 9 years ago and never repaired. It lacked any 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 totally preventable accident. We are grieving his death," Koeing added.

More on this tragic story in the report below:

Paxson's wife, Alicia, has also taken to Facebook to share multiple images and posts in an attempt to highlight how her husband's death was "an avoidable tragedy". One post included a local news article from 2014 in which families in the area voiced their concerns over the washed-out bridge.

"This was a known hazard. 2014!! Just an accident waiting to happen. Phil had to lose his life to bring awareness," Alicia wrote in one post.

Per PEOPLE, officials for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol have revealed that it was alerted to a vehicle in a creek on the morning of October 1.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the 47-year-old father's 2020 Jeep Gladiator upside down and underwater. Paxson's body was found inside the vehicle.

Officials believe the accident occurred at around 11:00PM last Friday (September 30).

North Carolina highway patrol officials have stated that barricades used to surround the faulty bridge in an effort to warn drivers, but they appeared to have been moved from the area.

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Credit: GoFundMe

Speaking to Queen City News, a grieving Alicia questioned: "How is it nine years that this did not happen, and why did it have to be him? Like, why do my kids have to have no dad now, you know? Who's responsible? Somebody is responsible."

"He took a left, and I took a right, and that was his mistake. One wrong turn, and now he's gone," Alicia continued.

A family friend added: "It could have been them. It could have been the girls. Usually, they all drive together and thank God that night they were not."

A GoFundMe has been launched in an effort to help raise funds for his funeral services. As of this writing, more than $25,000 has been raised.

Queen City News adds that the North Carolina State Patrol has said that the bridge was not controlled by local or state officials. Additionally, the Secretary of State states on its website that the developer's company was previously dissolved.

According to QC News, a property management company - whose previous owner was the initial developer - met with their legal team earlier in the week to determine who was responsible for the road and its maintenance.

Our thoughts go out to Paxon's family and friends at this time.

Featured image credit: WSOC-TV

Father of 2 dies in crash after GPS directs him to bridge that was washed away

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

The family of a man who tragically died after following GPS directions over a washed-out bridge has spoken out.

As reported by PEOPLE, North Carolina father Phil Paxson was driving home after celebrating his daughter's ninth birthday in Hickory. His family had enjoyed a barbeque at a friend's house, before he and his wife and children set off in different vehicles.

In a Facebook post written by Paxson's mother-in-law, Linda McPhoee Koeing, she explains: "It was a dark and rainy night and [Phil] was following his GPS which led him down a concrete road to a bridge that dropped off into a river.

"The bridge had been destroyed 9 years ago and never repaired. It lacked any 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 totally preventable accident. We are grieving his death," Koeing added.

More on this tragic story in the report below:

Paxson's wife, Alicia, has also taken to Facebook to share multiple images and posts in an attempt to highlight how her husband's death was "an avoidable tragedy". One post included a local news article from 2014 in which families in the area voiced their concerns over the washed-out bridge.

"This was a known hazard. 2014!! Just an accident waiting to happen. Phil had to lose his life to bring awareness," Alicia wrote in one post.

Per PEOPLE, officials for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol have revealed that it was alerted to a vehicle in a creek on the morning of October 1.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the 47-year-old father's 2020 Jeep Gladiator upside down and underwater. Paxson's body was found inside the vehicle.

Officials believe the accident occurred at around 11:00PM last Friday (September 30).

North Carolina highway patrol officials have stated that barricades used to surround the faulty bridge in an effort to warn drivers, but they appeared to have been moved from the area.

size-large wp-image-1263172260
Credit: GoFundMe

Speaking to Queen City News, a grieving Alicia questioned: "How is it nine years that this did not happen, and why did it have to be him? Like, why do my kids have to have no dad now, you know? Who's responsible? Somebody is responsible."

"He took a left, and I took a right, and that was his mistake. One wrong turn, and now he's gone," Alicia continued.

A family friend added: "It could have been them. It could have been the girls. Usually, they all drive together and thank God that night they were not."

A GoFundMe has been launched in an effort to help raise funds for his funeral services. As of this writing, more than $25,000 has been raised.

Queen City News adds that the North Carolina State Patrol has said that the bridge was not controlled by local or state officials. Additionally, the Secretary of State states on its website that the developer's company was previously dissolved.

According to QC News, a property management company - whose previous owner was the initial developer - met with their legal team earlier in the week to determine who was responsible for the road and its maintenance.

Our thoughts go out to Paxon's family and friends at this time.

Featured image credit: WSOC-TV