Technology giant Google is being sued by the family of a man who drowned after driving off a collapsed bridge.

Philip Paxson’s family alleges Google Maps directed him over a North Carolina bridge that had fallen nine years earlier, according to the BBC.

The father of two was driving through an unfamiliar neighbourhood, and “relied on Google Maps, expecting it would safely direct him home to his wife and daughters”, his lawyers said.

“Tragically, as he drove cautiously in the darkness and rain, he unsuspectingly followed Google’s outdated directions to what his family later learned for nearly a decade was called the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ crashing into Snow Creek, where he drowned,” his lawyers allege.

A local newspaper reports the barricades designed to stop people from crossing the bridge had been broken down by vandals.

“We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family,” a spokesman for Google told AP News.

“Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit.”

Drivers following misguided navigation prompts isn’t new, although the consequences are rarely as dire as those in Mr Paxson’s case.

Two tourists driving on the Island of Hawaii took the GPS directions literally when they decided to follow instructions and drive into the ocean.

The Seattle Times interviewed bystander Christie Hutchinson, who recorded the ordeal on her phone. After the accident, the Seattle Times says the driver blamed her GPS for routing them down the boat ramp.

Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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