On September 30th, a man in North Carolina died after following his GPS to an old bridge that had since collapsed into a creek.

Philip Paxson, a 47-year-old father of two girls, had been driving his Jeep at night when his GPS led him to an inoperative bridge that was destroyed by heavy flooding in July 2013.

“It was a dark and rainy night and he was following his GPS which led him down a concrete road to a bridge that dropped off into a river,” Paxson’s mother-in-law, Linda McPhee Koenig, wrote on Facebook. “The bridge had been destroyed [nine] years ago and never repaired. It lacked any barriers or warning signs to prevent the death of a 47-year-old [sic] father of two daughters. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. It was a totally preventable accident. We are grieving his death.”

Now, Paxson’s loved ones are raising awareness for the tragedy they believe could have been bypassed with routine maintenance or even clear signage and barricades from the city alerting drivers not to drive toward the bridge.

“This was a preventable accident, the bridge he went over at night had a gaping hole and there were no barricades,” a GoFundMe page named “Paxson family,” reads. “It had been this way for many years. No one would take responsibility to repair it and now he has to pay the price. Please pray for our family during this most difficult time.”

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to reports of an overturned vehicle in a creek near 24th Street Place Northeast, which is a private road, according to WCNC.

“He didn’t fall off a bridge. He didn’t drive off a bridge,” a loved one of the victim said… “He drove to his death through that 20 [foot] ravine.”

An article published in 2014 was titled, “BRIDGE TO NOWHERE: No resolution in sight for neighborhood’s gaping hole,” stated that “the bridge is still in disrepair.” It had been nine years since anything changed, and eight months since the flooding destroyed it in 2013.

Even though barricades were in place to warn drivers not to cross the bridge, they had been washed away by the floods.

WNCN recently obtained a deed linking the road to Keener, Shook, and Tarlton – formerly a partnership that dissolved in 1994.

Paxson’s obituary states that he “had a lifelong affection for muscle cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes, boats, really anything with a motor.”

“He traveled the world with his father-in-law riding motorcycles. He and his wife along with their two daughters enjoyed camping and boating with family and friends. Phil put his family first and his friends, almost equal, second,” the obituary states. “He was larger than life, always ready for an adventure, with a permanent smile on his face, he would give you the shirt off his back or talk you out of the one on yours.”