(TMU) — A Google Maps mishap last weekend resulted in nearly one hundred people driving their cars into the middle of a muddy field, where many of them became stuck. Some of them even caused damage to their cars trying to get through the rough terrain.
It all started on Sunday with an accident on Pena Boulevard in Aurora, Colorado. Hundreds of motorists traveling nearby checked Google Maps for a detour and found an alternative route that would cut their travel time in half.
Connie Monsees was one of the drivers who took the ill-fated detour that day. She was on her way to pick her husband up from Denver International Airport when she ran into the traffic jam and decided to check her phone for a quicker route.
“Google Maps asked us to take the Tower exit, so I did because it was supposed to be half the time. It was 47 minutes from Tower Road to the terminal, so I went to the detour, which was supposed to take 23 [minutes],” she told Denver7.
A few minutes down the road, Monsees followed her GPS onto E. 64th Ave. But after a while, the street turned into a dirt road. This made Monsees second-guess the directions, but she decided to follow along the road because everyone else was doing it.
“My thought was, ‘Well there are all these other cars in front of me so it must be OK.’ So I just continued,” she explained.
By the time Monsees noticed that nobody in front of her had any clue what they were doing, it was already too late.
“The question is why did Google send us out there to begin with? There was no turning back once you were out there,” Monsees said.
She said that a good portion of the road was in disrepair and many people caused severe damage to their vehicles.
“I tore up the inside passenger wheel well for my tire, but it’s not that big of a deal compared to some other people who really tore their cars up and got themselves stuck out there,” Monsees said.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber said that there were not many options for drivers once they got onto the dirt road.
“There are some back ways to get to and from DIA. However, they are not all perfect. Because that was all open land, there still are some dirt roads out there and not all of them are paved yet,” Luber explained.
Luber said that this is a perfect example of the dangers that can arise from becoming too dependent on smartphones. Luber explained:
“You are driving. Google Maps is not driving. Google Maps is not perfect. You need to know where you are going and, if it does not look like that’s where you should be going, turn around and try again. Take a look at the Google map and it’s going to tell you where to go, but you are not a lemming and you don’t need to follow it exactly. It’s better to find your own way and take a look at the map.”
There was a sign saying that the road was closed at the entrance of the dirt road, but it was knocked on its side by the time reporters arrived on the scene.
After the incident, Google issued a statement telling drivers to “use their best judgment” on the road.
“We take many factors into account when determining driving routes, including the size of the road and the directness of the route. While we always work to provide the best directions, issues can arise due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. We encourage all drivers to follow local laws, stay attentive, and use their best judgment while driving,” the statement read, according to CNN.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.