Elderly couple drive into a mud pit after blindly following their GPS

lost elderly couple

An elderly couple traveling from Ridgecrest, Calif., to the Oregon coast, found themselves stuck in a mud pit after the GPS mapping system they were relying on sent them in the wrong direction. The couple ended up spending two nights in the wilderness before police officers came on the scene to deliver aid.

According to the wife, Dorris Garton to KCAL-TV:

“The trees started really closing in on us. We should have stopped then and called 911 for an alternate route to get out of the situation.”

Apparently, the elder couple blamed the GPS system they were using at the time for their mishap. They claimed after coming across trees that kept getting closer and closer, they thought about making a pit stop and call 911. However, instead the elder couple in their 70s chose to follow the prompts of the GPS device.

Now, while the GPS is being blamed solely for the couple’s entrapment in a mud pit, the real culprit here is the mapping data. You see, GPS satellites provide the location and not the direction. The direction side of things is up to the mapping data available, which is not always accurate so always, bare that in mind next time you’re out hunting for scraps.

It isn’t clear what GPS they were using, but… okay, I’ll not make an Apple Maps joke.

[via KCAL-TV]

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  • etim

    Just keep ’em away from computers–especially ones with blue backgrounds.


  • Seamus McSeamus

    People should really stop blindly doing what their GPS tells them to do. This couple expressed reservations, yet decided to continue on course. This is the fault of the people, not the GPS. As Vamien pointed out, the GPS is only as good as the data it has available; and I would add that it still requires the use of common sense by the end user. If you’re in Chicago driving north along Lakeshore Drive, don’t make any hard right turns. Regardless of what the talking box tells you. :)

  • jayesstee

    Thanks for the explanation.  Explains a lot!

  • Darcy

    Google maps are just as bad, but I’ve told that story a couple times before.

  • Peter

    No comment this time… ;)