Google Maps "directed man to drive off collapsed bridge"

The family of a man who drove into a creek and drowned following directions provided by Google Maps in darkness is suing the company. At the heart of their lawsuit: Google failed to update their map for nearly a decade after a bridge's collapse, even after it became a noted hazard referred to as the "Bridge to Nowhere."

Mr Paxson, a father of two, was driving home from his daughter's ninth birthday party at a friend's house and was in an unfamiliar neighbourhood at the time of his death, according to the family's lawsuit. His wife had driven his two daughters home earlier, and he stayed behind to help clean up. "Unfamiliar with local roads, he relied on Google Maps, expecting it would safely direct him home to his wife and daughters," lawyers for the family said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "Tragically, as he drove cautiously in the darkness and rain, he unsuspectingly followed Google's outdated directions to what his family later learned for nearly a decade was called the 'Bridge to Nowhere,' crashing into Snow Creek, where he drowned."

The bridge collapsed in 2013, but Google was directing traffic over it nine years later despite local residents "repeatedly contacting Google" to report the error over the years. "I still can't understand how those responsible for the GPS directions and the bridge could have acted with so little regard for human life," his wife, Alicia Paxson, said. More from the Associated Press, which reports that Google is "reviewing the allegations."

"We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family," Google spokesperson José Castañeda told The Associated Press. "Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit."