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Bad GPS directions leave trucker teetering in “worst one to date”

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Notoriously bad GPS directions led a trucker to near disaster in an incident the local sheriff’s office is calling the “worst one to date.”

The semi truck got stuck on a remote, unimproved road near East Mountain on Friday, May 31st in Emery County, Utah. 

Emery County Sheriff Tyson Huntington says that motorists are led onto the remote roadway at least a few times a month after typing “Utah” into their Google Maps app and following the bad GPS directions. 

“We’ve had a problem with people traveling into Utah and they’ll put just ‘Utah’ into their Google search … and it leads them to this remote area of our county,” Huntington said of the GPS directions to ABC 4.

Search and rescue teams have always been able to help the tourists and their cars off of the rough roadway, but officials are calling the recent incident involving a stuck semi truck “the worst one to date.” 

The truck driver was hauling RedBull when he followed his bad GPS directions to “Utah,” and drove onto the rough roadway. The rig eventually got stuck in the mud along a steep hill, leaving the rig precariously perched on a ridge. Officials were able to rescue the trucker that evening, but the East Mountain road remained closed overnight and into the morning as crews worked to free the stuck truck. 

The Sheriff’s Office said it had contacted Google at least 40 times prior to the semi truck getting stuck, but had no luck getting the GPS directions changed. Officials instead installed signs warning of the rough road to remote parts of the county. Now, the Sheriff’s Office says Google has finally taken action to change the bad GPS directions. 

“We use multiple sources to update the map – including contributions from the community, information from local authorities, along with Street View and satellite imagery. We’ve updated this route on our map and it should be reflected in the coming days,” Google said in a statement issued on Monday, June 3rd about the GPS directions.  

“We’ve had to take those steps to try to be able to mitigate the problems, but we haven’t had any luck with Google until today,” Huntington said, reiterating that he is “super excited” about the fixed GPS directions and expects to get fewer calls from stuck motorists and truckers. 

“We’re happy that [travelers] won’t run into that problem anymore, it won’t damage their vehicles or cause problems, and then we’re able to keep our resources in the most populous areas of our county,” he said.

“It goes to show that you can’t always expect what’s going to take place, we always need to be prepared for things that we don’t expect,” he said. ” If something seems weird or something seems [not] right, stop and find out what’s going on before you proceed.”

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