• WQTC 102.3

Google Maps shortcut strands a hundred cars in muddy mess

Dozens of Colorado drivers who followed a Google Maps detour found themselves in a traffic jam on Sunday when drivers following Google Maps directions on what they believed was a shortcut to Denver International Airport instead got stuck on a muddy dirt road.

Connie Monsees of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, was on her way to pick up her husband when she hit a traffic jam on Pena Boulevard. She pulled out her cellphone and used the app to find an alternate route that would get her to the airport in half the time, but didn't realize just how off-road she would be.

Monsees told ABC News' "Start Here" podcast, "It eventually took me to a road that...became dirt." She added, "I was not the only one, there was probably a hundred cars out there."

She said the route was "a muddy mess of a field," because it had been raining all weekend, and cars were getting stuck in ditches slick from Colorado's clay soil.

Although the ride took her three and a half hours rather than the usual hour-and-a-half round-trip, Monsees doesn't blame Google.

She said, "They, as far as they knew, they took us to a good spot. But I think as a society we are too wrapped up in trying to just do things quick."

A Google spokesperson said in a statement, "We take many factors into account when determining driving routes, including the size of the road and the directness of the route."

The spokesperson added, "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."

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