A North Carolina man tragically drove off a cliff to his death on his daughter’s birthday. According to Inside Edition, Phil Paxson had stayed to help clean up after the party at which family and friends had gathered to celebrate the ninth birthday of his oldest daughter. His wife, Alycia, left the party separately with their two daughters.
“I remember saying goodbye, love you, see you in a bit,” Alycia said.
What we know happened:
The family had recently moved to suburban Charlotte. Though the house was only a short drive away, Phil was still unfamiliar with the roads in the area, so he used GPS to help him navigate.
Phil’s family believes his GPS directed him to a place where a small bridge was supposed to have been. However, the bridge hasn’t existed since 2013. Known by locals as the “bridge to nowhere,” it was washed away almost ten years ago.
There was inclement weather that night that likely caused visibility issues. Phil drove off the cliff and fell 20 feet into the ravine. His body was found by state troopers in his vehicle, which was partially submerged in the water.
Preventing others from dying this way
Now Alycia and the rest of Phil’s family are trying to raise awareness about his untimely death and the missing bridge. They say that the proper maintenance of the bridge could have prevented Phil’s death.
“Yes, 100% preventable, in my opinion,” said Alycia. “Unfathomable. I just can’t wrap my head around how this could happen…He didn’t deserve to die this way.”
County/ State claims no responsibility
The county and the state say they are not responsible. According to them, it is a private road located in a private development.
“We’ve heard from neighbors that they have heard of babysitters or delivery drivers who almost suffered the same fate as Phil,” said Bob Zimmerman, the attorney representing Phil’s family.
A barricade has since been put up to prevent another tragic accident like the one that claimed Phil’s life.