Leading Wrongful Death Attorneys Representing Family of North Carolina Man After His Vehicle, Misguided by GPS, Nosedived Into Creek From Neglected, Severed “Bridge to Nowhere”

Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky seeking answers and justice after Philip Paxson’s death.

The family of Philip Paxson, the husband, father, and Navy veteran killed September 30th after his vehicle suddenly plummeted into a creek after his GPS (global positioning system) directed him onto an unprotected,  severed “bridge to nowhere”, has turned to a team of leading catastrophic- wrongful death attorneys to investigate what caused the accident, hold accountable all those responsible, and prevent future tragedies at the “horrifically dangerous” site in the residential neighborhood near 24th Street Place Northeast, Hickory, North Carolina. Attorneys from Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, of Philadelphia, PA, and Ricci Law, their local counsel of Greenville, NC, say they are now conducting the first phase of a “painstakingly careful and complete forensic investigation” on behalf of Alicia Paxson, Mr. Paxson’s wife of nearly 15 years and mother of their daughters, ages 6 and 9. 

Robert W. Zimmerman, a partner at SMB, stated

Alicia Paxson has been very clear that Phil’s death must not be in vain. Alicia’s and her daughters’ losses are unimaginable. Nine years ago, a bridge that was used daily by the Hickory community collapsed, and for the last nine years it has endangered those who would have no way of knowing the road would abruptly end without any protection. Philip, who was celebrating his daughter’s ninth birthday at a friend’s home, was led to the danger by GPS guidance. He and his family were new to the area and had no knowledge of the danger lurking between his house and the friend’s. The family took two cars to assist in the set up and cleanup of the party, Philip having left minutes after his wife and daughters. Before there’s another catastrophe, on behalf of the Paxson family we are urgently calling upon all GPS navigation system developers, suppliers, and service operators who have not yet done so to stop displaying this “road to nowhere” along 24th St. Pl. NE, ending at Snow Creek, as active, until the landowner finally fixes this lethal hazard.”

Robert J. Mongeluzzi of SMB, said his firm is humbled to represent the Paxson family in its search for answers and, ultimately, justice in the aftermath of the unimaginable tragedy. “As trial lawyers, we are guided by the evidence and are now engaged in fact-finding that will focus on every aspect of this accident, going back decades to when the private road and bridge were constructed and to when the bridge collapsed in 2013,” he explained. “It is absolutely alarming to hear the harrowing accounts of neighbors expressing outrage that the so-called “bridge to nowhere” has been a significant public safety concern for nearly a decade. Why was it left unprotected? And why were GPS services still displaying it an existing, active structure?”  Attorney Daniel Ceisler, also of SMB, is working alongside Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Mongeluzzi.

Mrs. Paxson, a licensed Physician Assistant (P.A.),  on behalf of family and friends of Phil, said through her attorneys, “Phil was only 47-years-old, and the girls are so young. We will never be the same, but we will also not stand by and have his death written off as just another traffic accident. This road should have been fixed long ago, and clearly visible, durable barriers,  should have been installed to prevent a driver from crashing into the creek. The road ends and there is no bridge, despite what the GPS says. We have faith in the justice system, and want answers, not excuses.”

Note: All requests for interviews should be directed to the below contacts. Additional information and photos will be available at www.smbb.com/NCRoadToNowherefatality



Robert W. Zimmerman / rzimmerman@smbb.com / 267-872-3430

Robert J. Mongeluzzi / rmongeluzzi@smbb.com / 215-850-6571

Steph Rosenfeld / steph@idadvisors.com / 215-514-4101

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