gps accident driver drown reservoir
Directions from a GPS navigation system led a driver in Spain into a reservoir Reuters

A Spanish court has ordered a regional government to pay compensation to the family of a man who drowned in a reservoir after following instructions from a GPS navigation system. The judgement from the Superior Court of Extremadura blamed the incident on "poor route signage".

Dassi Gueye, 35, was driving at night near the western town of Capilla in October 2010 when he was directed by the GPS down a road that ends in La Sarena, the biggest reservoir in the country. When the car became submerged, Gueye and a passenger were able to escape the vehicle, but only the passenger made it safely back to shore.

"It seems the GPS system pointed them on to an old road that ends in the reservoir, and that in the dark they were unable to brake in time, with the car taking just a couple of minutes to sink," the Spanish Red Cross said in a statement at the time.

The family of Gueye will receive €271,000 (£194,000) from the Extremadura government, Spanish newspaper El Pais reports. The regional administration had previously questioned the coroner's report that the death had occurred by falling into the reservoir.

The court ruling stated: "The road on which the vehicle was driving was unmarked and led directly to the reservoir - that was the cause of the accident. The autopsy report does not offer the slightest doubt how the accident occurred, detailing that the body was found in La Serena without any other notable marks. There is no evidence that suggests the driver was driving at the wrong speed or that his conduct had influenced the accident."