By Jaynell Graham
MARLINTON, W.Va. — The shortest distance between two points may not always be the safest nor easiest route.
That fact became all too apparent just before noon last Tuesday when a tractor trailer driver headed to the Dollar General store in Marlinton was routed by GPS mapping software from Rt. 84 to Rt. 92N at Frost and then onto the very narrow Hill Road.
Jaime King, of Winston Salem, North Carolina, a driver for Werner Enterprises, of Omaha, Nebraska, was pulling a 58-foot Dollar General trailer as he wound his way through the Hill Country.
“This is my third time in West Virginia,” King said. “When it [GPS] told me to take the back road, I said, ‘Lord, Jesus. Lord, have mercy.”‘
King’s years of experience as a driver paid off as he made it within about a mile of the Gordon Dilley Road entrance off Rt. 28 – before a hairpin turn and an icy spot put an end to his trip for the day.
“My back tires caught the edge and slid,” King said. “I was able to stop it so I wouldn’t turn over. The man above was with me.”
Several trailer tires on the driver’s side were off the ground, while the back tires on the passenger side were in the creek.
Once King got the truck stopped, he found out that a GPS mapping program is not the only service that can fail you here.
“My phone doesn’t work. My computer doesn’t work,” King said Wednesday afternoon – 24 hours into his ordeal.
But what seems to never fail is the kindness and hospitality of the people…