Interstate 95 turned into parking lot by crash, snow

January 5, 2022

Land Line Staff

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If you were driving on Interstate 95 in Virginia on Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, you were likely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It started with a crash on Monday, Jan. 3 involving six tractor trailers, which stalled I-95 traffic near Fredericksburg, Va. Then as much as 11 inches of snow fell, which not only created dangerous road conditions, but made clearing that crash even more difficult.

OOIDA member and Land Line Magazine contributor Dave Sweetman was among those traveling on I-95, hauling a load from Allenstown, Pa., to Columbia, S.C. He was forced to stop around 2 p.m., and didn’t move his load again until some 22 hours later.

“I go with the flow,” Sweetman told Land Line Now. “A couple years ago in New Mexico I had the same deal. Everything just shut down for about 36 hours. I’ve always got plenty of food in the pantry, and Mom always taught me to share.”

Sharing became necessary and undoubtedly much appreciated as many motorists began to run out of fuel due to the 20-plus hour shutdown.

“This poor guy and his wife about two vehicles ahead of me were all bundled up and the car was not running,” Sweetman said. “I went up and checked on them to see if they were OK, and they said, ‘We’ve run out of gas.’ I told them they could come to my truck and keep warm.”

Weather can create situations that are out of anyone’s control. However, in this case, Sweetman says more could have been done to prevent a situation of this extent.

“Somebody needed to dispatch some trucks,” Sweetman said. “We knew it was coming, Weather Underground is your friend. My choice yesterday was do I go down 81 or do I just go down 95. And I thought, Virginia usually takes pretty good care of their roads, but not yesterday and today. It’s really been a bad misadventure.”

In addition to weather channels and apps, many state DOTs have measures in place truckers can utilize to stay up to date on inclement weather.

I-95 in Virginia reopened on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 4 after being closed for more than 24 hours. LL

W.W. Williams