A Chevrolet Tahoe driver had to catch a lift with a helpful stranger after Google Maps told him to go down a strange, muddy forest road.
As Denver ABC affiliate ABC7 reports, mudslides closed a section of I-70 in Colorado last week, forcing drivers to either wait for the mudslide to clear or to find an alternative route to their destination. One motorist, Loni Nelson, took out his phone and punched his destination into Google Maps before carrying on his way, following the navigation app’s directions as he drove.
After making a number of turns onto increasingly rural roads, Nelson found himself on an unpaved, muddy forest trail. The path (you can barely call it a road), Forest Road 800, appears to be a trail for off-road vehicles or an access route of some sort, but Nelson’s Tahoe was not equipped to deal with it. About three miles in, he got stuck before sliding off and hitting a tree with his massive SUV.
“I was scared that it was going to roll down the mountain and I was going to get crumpled in it and trapped,” he told ABC7. “I was nowhere near cell phone service.”
Luckily for Nelson, he wasn’t the only one who followed Google’s directions down the desolate forest road. Another motorist happened upon him and gave him a ride back to nearby Silt, CO, where he was able to catch a ride home. He went back the following day to retrieve his vehicle and noticed a number of other vehicles had also slid off the muddy trail and into the forest, including what looked like a Land Rover.
“That vehicle missed the switchbacks completely,” Nelson said. “You could see it. I didn’t get a picture of the trail, but you could see the trail where they just blazed straight down the mountain.”
Nelson probably won’t be using Google maps again, it seems, as he no longer trusts the app’s ability to identify safe alternate routes.
“After going down that road, Google’s full of it,” he said. “That (road) is for people who have jacked-up Jeeps with 30-inch tires for mud bogging and off-roading.”
ABC7’s news report showed a number of other vehicles trapped in the mud on I-70 as well, including a Cadillac Escalade.