It can be easy to take technology for granted in 2022, as it invades our lives in ever more pressing ways, day after day.
We’ve become a bit numb to it all. Once we as a society collectively passed the threshold in which we became comfortable is our personal information living in that sphere of communication, everything just sort of fell in behind it, like some Orwellian nightmare come to life. Now, our phones are literally scanning our faces and fingerprints, and we’ve signed away any recourse against that data collection in the terms and conditions.
And, worse still, when our personal technology tells us to do something, we often listen.
This sort of implied, digital genius can lead us astray however, and a tragic GPS mishap in North Carolina has left a man dead.
Phillip Paxson, a 47-year-old father of two girls, had been driving his Jeep at night from his oldest daughter’s birthday party in Hickory when his GPS led him to a bridge that has been inoperative since heavy flooding in July 2013 destroyed it.
Paxson fell to his death.
“It was a dark and rainy night and he was following his GPS which led him down a concrete road to a bridge that dropped off into a river,” Paxson’s mother-in-law, Linda McPhee Koenig, said in a Tuesday Facebook post. “The bridge had been destroyed [nine] years ago and never repaired. It lacked any barriers or warning signs to prevent the death of a 47 year old [sic] 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.”
There is an ongoing online fundraising campaign for Paxson.
“This was a preventable accident, the bridge he went over at night had a gaping hole and their were no barricades,” a GoFundMe page titled, “Paxson family,” states. “It had been this way for many years. No one would take responsibility to repair it and now he has to pay the price. Please pray for our family during this most difficult time.”
Barricades that warned drivers of the impending destruction had washed away, say authorities.