A trucker in Indonesia barely escaped with his life after pulling up a route from Google Maps to reach a desolate village and following the route — directly off a cliff.
The incident was recounted in the Jakarta Post, describing how truck driver Agus Tri Pamungkas used the online directions to hep him reach Singakerta village with a truck full of rocks. He became lost along the way and used Google Maps in an effort to get back on track, but the app told him to follow a route that took him high above the Wos River on a road that was not suited for cars.
The truck driver said he became worried when the road grew more narrow, but said he was stuck and had no choice but to continue along the dangerous route.
“When he got to a bridge, he considered turning back, but because the road was not more than three meters [wide], he couldn’t turn around,” Sumardika said as quoted by kompas.com.
Along the route, his truck stalled and was sent crashing down into the river below. Agus suffered some bruises from the crash, and locals had to slash through the thick bamboo trees at the river’s edge to rescue him.
This is not the first time that a driver has followed Google Maps or another form of GPS straight into a dangerous situation. In Washington State, a bus driver taking a high school girls softball team to a game crashed into a brick and concrete foot bridge after following a GPS navigation system. As SeattlePI.com reported, the bus navigation system was accidentally used at the settings for a small car or motorcycle and was sent along a route not suitable for taller vehicles.
The bus driver said he didn’t see the flashing yellow lights on a sign warning that there was a low clearance bridge ahead.
Steve Abegg, president of Journey Lines, said it was the first time the bus company had ever encountered such a problem.
“We haven’t really had serious problems with anything, but here it’s presented a problem that we didn’t consider,” Abegg said. “We just thought it would be a safe route because, why else would they have a selection for a bus?”
In Indonesia, officials said the road that Google Maps told the truck driver to take was meant only for motorcycles. The head of the local public works department has called on the village to put up a sign warning that large vehicles should not use the road.