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Hialeah truck driver blames GPS for $17,000 mistake

Truck overweight by more than 59,000 pounds

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(WTAE-TV)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. – Many people trust GPS when they're in unfamiliar territory. But trusting those directions cost a trucker thousands of dollars and put him in Washington County Jail for five days.

Fransisco Amareles-Amareles, a trucker from Hialeah, was hauling drilling pipes to Washington County when he took more than one wrong turn. And directions from his GPS played no small part in it.

"I believe (the GPS) had a lot to do with it," said Canonsburg police Patrolman Scott Bashioum, who pulled Amareles over.

Amarales' intended destination was near Southpointe. But for some reason his GPS was leading him toward Alpine Drive in residential Canonsburg.

The GPS gave him instructions to drive .5 miles, then turn left. He passed a sign warning of a 10-ton weight limit on Strabane Avenue. That should have been a clue.

Bashioum put on the sirens and lights and pulled him over as he was trying to make the turn.

He said his GPS put him somewhere he shouldn't have been.

Police scales revealed his truck was more than 59,000 pounds overweight for neighborhood streets. In total, his penalty by the pounds was more than $17,000. He couldn't post his $10,000 bond, keeping him in jail far from home until a judge OK'd a deal -- $850 to free him and nearly $9,000 for the truck.

"Obviously it's pretty stressful," defense attorney Erick Rigby said. "I mean, the father of the family -- I spoke with his daughter -- her dad's in jail over what amounts to a traffic ticket."

"I wouldn't want to see it every day going by," said resident John Billy. "It is a mistake, and everybody's entitled to a mistake."

Amareles should be out of jail Thursday.