Drivers stranded for hours on I-95 in Virginia after winter storm

Following a snowstorm Sunday night into Monday morning, drivers were stranded on Interstate 95 for over 24 hours on a 50-mile stretch in the Stafford County, Virginia area. The Virginia Department of Transportation said that now, no vehicles are still stranded on that interstate. 

“There are no people stranded still on I-95,” the VDOT announced in a tweet. “Less than 20 vehicles left to be removed from the interstate before plow trains will come through to remove snow and ice from the travel lanes.”

Those 20 vehicles had been abandoned because of the backup, which was caused by a collision involving several trucks in the icy conditions of the road. The interstate was finally reopened at around 8:40 p.m., according to VDOT. 

Many drivers unfortunately ran out of gas in the freezing temperatures, and some were left without food or water. Children, pets, and people with medical needs were among those stuck in the traffic disaster.

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia was also stuck on the highway. His trip from Richmond to Washington, D.C. took him nearly 27 hours. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said in an interview on Tuesday morning.

“This has been a miserable experience, but at some point I kind of made the switch to a miserable travel experience to a survival project,” he later said. Kaine described the “nice camaraderie” among the many drivers who were trapped as people shared food and drinks.

Vania Masaya was stuck in the traffic with her young children when she ran out of gas. They became stopped at around 9 a.m. on Monday, and twelve hours later, they had hardly made any progress.

“I just kept thinking, they’re gonna die in this cold,” she said with tears in her eyes. “It was freezing. My daughter’s cheeks were so cold.” Finally, Masaya shouted for help as a firefighter came to her window. “Can you please just take my kids? You don’t need to take us. Just take my kids, please,” she recalled begging. The children slept under blankets on a gurney inside an ambulance.




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