Google Maps detour directs nearly 100 drivers into a muddy field
Drivers were trying to avoid delays en route to the Denver airport, but ended up stuck in a field
When Connie Monsees followed a detour suggested by Google Maps to avoid a traffic jam on the way to pick up her husband from the Denver International Airport, she ended up in the middle of a muddy field.
"It had me turn down this road that was paved for a little bit, but then it became a dirt road — and soon we were just out in the middle of a field," she told As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner.
Monsees was one of nearly 100 people followed the faulty detour, she said.
"There was a whole bunch of us. So it wasn't like I was by myself."
The field was muddy after several days of rain in the area.
"I didn't feel like [turning around] was an option, because I didn't know what it would turn into," she said. "So I just stayed on that track."
Monsees's car had four-wheel drive, so she didn't get stuck in the mud. But other drivers weren't so lucky.
"One girl ... stopped by and said, 'Can I throw my bag in your car?' She was in an Uber and the Uber was just stuck," explained Monsees.
"And another gentleman, who I drove to the airport, he was riding with his sister and she had a little Honda. It was just a front-wheel drive ... it would have bottomed out trying to get across the ditches."
Monsees called the police non-emergency line because a number of cars needed help getting out of the mud.
"We take many factors into account when determining driving routes, including the size of the road and the directness of the route," Google told CNN in a statement.
"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 continued.
Although the detour didn't end up being the hoped-for shortcut, Monsees isn't angry with Google for the mistake.
"There's only so much they can do. They can't see every road in the world all the time," she said.
"We made the choice to turn down that road even once we saw that it was dirt. So I take full responsibility for what I did. And I don't blame them at all."
Written by Alison Broverman. Produced by Chris Harbord.
- In an earlier version of this story, the headline stated that hundreds of drivers were directed into a muddy field by Google Maps. In fact, it was nearly a hundred drivers.Jun 28, 2019 1:51 PM ET