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Re: Death by GPS

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Death by GPS
January 30, 2011 10:41PM
'Death by GPS' in desert
By Tom Knudson
Published: Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 - 12:00 am
Five harrowing days after becoming stuck on a remote backcountry road in Death Valley National Park in August 2009, Alicia Sanchez lay down next to her Jeep Cherokee and prepared to die.

Then she heard a voice.

"I called as I approached, asking if she was okay," wrote Ranger Amber Nattrass in a park report. "She was waving frantically and screaming, 'My baby is dead, my baby is dead.' "

In the SUV, Nattrass found Sanchez's lifeless 6-year-old son Carlos on the front seat. "She told me they walked 10 miles but couldn't find any help (and) … had run out of water and had been drinking their own urine," Nattrass wrote.

"She turned down a wrong road," Nattrass said in a recent interview. "She said she was following her GPS unit."


http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/30/3362727/death-by-gps-in-desert.html
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Re: Death by GPS
February 01, 2011 09:08AM
Tragic. In Death Valley, if you stay on the pavement, you should be safe. If a GPS told me to take a dirt road, and I didn't have a map to back it up, there's no way I would do what it says.
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 01, 2011 04:18PM
Very interesting and tragic article. Thanks Ken

(I'm always amazed at the large number of insensitive comments in the wake of such tragedy)
(found after the article and elsewhere.... )
(makes me quite somber w/r to the "human" race)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 02, 2011 12:14AM
Quote
chick-on
Very interesting and tragic article. Thanks Ken

(I'm always amazed at the large number of insensitive comments in the wake of such tragedy)
(found after the article and elsewhere.... )
(makes me quite somber w/r to the "human" race)

I beelieve that that is one of the biggest misfortunes of the "anonymity" that the internet provides: a loss of the common decency that keeps us somewhat "civilized" on a day to day basis.

It is more than arrogant to "lecture" after the fact when a tragedy has already happened; it is unseemly.



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Death by GPS
February 02, 2011 12:44PM
Good article. I'm very familiar with these issues and tragedies that were mentioned in the article. Glad to hear that some of the GPS companies and DV are working together to get these dangerous issues resolved. Last year, I hiked right by the exact location where the mother and son got stuck in 2009 and it certainly was in the middle of nowhere.
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 02, 2011 06:21PM
My GPS took me on a volcanic ash "road" with pits in it big enough to swallow/flip cars when I was in the southwest. It claimed that it was paved. I turned around before it got bad, but it was a cool path so my friends and I hiked on it. Had we gone much further while driving we probably wouldn't have been able to turn around and could have gotten the car stuck, or worse.

It's sad that this happened, and hopefully people are more prepared in the future when they go to such dangerous areas.
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 02, 2011 07:08PM
I recently have a GPS try to get me to turn onto Coulterville Road from 140 inside the park. That big pile of rocks where it claimed the turn was sure didn't look inviting.
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 02, 2011 07:13PM
A year ago on CA-20 near 80, E-bound, trying to get W-bound on 80, I had a GPS suggest I should drive into a 6-foot snowbank that, in summer, might be a 4WD-only dirt track.
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 03, 2011 12:10PM
In Maine it's just the opposite. There are numerous paved roads that have been in existence for 100 years that don't even show up on GPS maps. I'm talking roads just off a major route between mid-coast and the capital city of Augusta! Downright sloppy data base.

Seems odd they would go out of their way to map barely passable dirt roads in some states while completely missing long established paved roads in other states.
avatar Re: Death by GPS
February 03, 2011 06:00PM
The snowbank can be seen here: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=39.30349,-120.66507&z=16&t=M , it's marked "Bear Valley Road" - change to Topo to see the unimproved marking.

I think it's fine that they show these roads, I like them myself, but the routing software probably needs a way to flag a class of roads that should only be used for destinations _on_ those roads, not for any destinations elsewhere.
Re: Death by GPS
February 12, 2011 01:52PM
I have a nice garmin nuvi that wanted to send us through the middle of Tahoe NF where I know it is only Jeep, ATV or walking trails. That was even after we had driven in on paved roads. I guess that was shorter than the way we had come in. Maybe they need the options of shortest route, fastest route and stupidest route.
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