Big rig following GPS directions ties up Trinity Road for five hours

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A big rig became stuck late Tuesday night on rural Trinity Road, partially blocking the road for about five hours after the driver followed GPS directions onto the winding, steep route to Napa County, according to the CHP and Glen Ellen fire officials.

It is the latest case in a string of similar reports of huge trucks getting trapped on one of the grade’s many hairpin curves because GPS indicated it’s the fastest way from Glen Ellen to Napa County.

Expensive new signs paid for by Sonoma County on Highway 12 near the Trinity Road turn warn drivers of large trucks that it’s illegal to take the route — signs frustrated residents and fire officials say don’t seem to be curbing the increasingly occurring problem.

The same signs are posted on the Napa County side and also are often ignored, CHP officials there have said.

In this case, the driver and a partner followed their computer directions to Napa via Trinity Road. They apparently made a few turns before getting stuck.

The CHP was alerted at about 11:15 p.m. and reported the rig was stopped on a sharp turn, completely blocking one lane.

Someone at the scene was having to direct traffic around the rig, according to the report.

A big rig tow truck was needed to free the huge vehicle and help it back down the hill and it reportedly took until about 4 a.m. to clear the roadway.

Fire officials have worried such an event will lead to a disaster in an emergency if vehicles can’t get through.

Earlier in August, three firetrucks headed for a fire farther up the hill found their way blocked by a high-centered rig. Two engines backtracked, and the third had to stay and deal with the problem.

The car and grass fire was put out by Mayacamas volunteers up the hill.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.

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