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Fire chief says truck driver ‘followed their GPS to someplace that they ought not to be’


A fire chief for a small town in Washington state shared a cautionary tale about the consequences of putting too much trust in your GPS.

Paul Sowers of the Greenwater/Crystal Mountain Fire Departments recently took to Facebook to share the story of a truck driver who got stuck on a snowy logging road known as Forest Service Road 70.

Sowers said:

Our other situation, which started yesterday and is still ongoing, involves a semi-truck that followed their GPS to someplace that they ought not to be i.e. the 70 road. The driver is uninjured, and work is underway to make a plan to get the truck out of there. I am going to head up shortly to see how it is progressing. It should be interesting. I think most of what I would say about this is self-evident, and I am also sure that the driver has been saying it to himself since yesterday.

The point is, if you’re gonna go, be prepared. Conditions change rapidly as you get off of the beaten path, and consequences rise steeply. I don’t care what kind of vehicle that you drive, eventually winter conditions in the forest will be beyond its capabilities. Be careful out there, and a successful trip starts long before you get in the car.

Sowers offered more advice about traveling on Forest Service roads:

It is important to realize that Forest Service roads are not plowed, for the most part. As you gain elevation conditions change rapidly. Chains and a shovel at a minimum are a must, in addition to a full tank of fuel, food, fluids, and blankets. If you have a medical condition, and take a prescription that is critical and time-sensitive, have it with you. Partner up with another vehicle. If you have a problem, it makes the whole situation much more manageable. And for the love of God, do not mindlessly follow your GPS into the wilderness. It seems like every year we have at least one person stuck up the 70 road because, with Highway 410 over Chinook Pass closed, they were rerouted up the 70 road over Pyramid Pass. Which is fine, if you have a snowmobile.”


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