North Carolina Route 12 ends at the ocean, but that apparently didn't stop an 18-wheeler driver who was confused by his GPS coordinates on Tuesday, reports The Coastland Times.
The driver mistook Route 12 South in Corolla for Route 12 North, according to WVEC.
“He sees ocean and knows he’s gone the wrong way,” Currituck County Sheriff Matt Beickert told the Coastland Times.
But the Interstate Van Lines driver waited too late to stop, judging from photos posted on Facebook. He drove off the pavement and onto the beach, hoping to make a U-turn.
Photos show the 53-foot semi-truck's wheels quickly sank a foot into the soft sand, and went deeper each time he hit the accelerator.
An obscenity-laced video posted on YouTube by Outer Banks resident Drew Kilkenny shows a 60-ton tow truck had to be called to pull the 18-wheeler out, and it wasn't easy. At one point, shovels were also needed to dig out the wheels, the 11-minute video shows.
It took nearly two hours to get the truck out and by then a crowd formed, including tour groups in canopy-covered trucks, the video shows.
Carl Seto of Seto’s Towing did the job for an estimated $2,000, and he told the Virginian-Pilot that trucks and buses get stuck on the beach three or four times a year.
"They don’t follow the signs," he told the Virginian-Pilot. "They just keep going."
Seven hundred people have commented on the photos posted on Facebook by Wild OBX, and they seemed divided on whether to blame the driver or GPS.
"GPS is a blessing an a curse!!" posted Cathy Garloch.
"The GPS told him to keep going," posted Konstantine Gkoufas. "3000 more miles and you will reach your destination. Australia is on your right."
"Who wouldn’t stop when they saw sand?" wrote Debra Anne Scalia.
"One must be smarter than ones’ GPS when circumstances dictate," posted Ron Mason.