Hundreds stuck in Virginia traffic jam on snowed-in highway

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (NewsNation Now) —  Hundreds of motorists have been stuck in the snow for nearly 24 hours along a 50-mile stretch of Virginia interstate after a crash involving six tractor-trailers.

Driver Marvin Romero has been stuck in his car with his two kids on Interstate 95 since early Monday afternoon. He spoke with “Morning in America” Tuesday morning after waking up still stuck in his car.

“Nobody has come up to us to speak to us. Nothing at all,” Romero said.

“They (authorities) told me they couldn’t do anything about it. So they redirected me to the state police and the state police never picked up the phone,” Romero said to NewsNation’s Adrienne Bankert. “It just kept ringing and ringing.”

The tractor-trailer collision Monday afternoon caused no injuries, but brought traffic to a standstill along the U.S. East Coast’s main north-south highway, and it became impossible to move as the snow accumulated. Hours passed with hundreds of motorists posting increasingly desperate messages on social media about running out of fuel, food and water.

“We’re gonna start having an issue with food. We need food here. I was walking around yesterday, just trying to get to know people around, I was handing out some water bottles at my trunk,” Romero said. “And a lot of people were concerned about food.”

Romero said he still has seven hours left to go before reaching his destination in New York. Romero said that walking to get help or shelter is not an option because of where drivers are stranded.

“From the location, I am in I am about an hour walk to the nearest gas station and a two-hour walk to the nearest hotel,” Romero said. “My biggest fear is that I’m going to walk away with the kids and then things are gonna start rolling and my car is gonna be here.”

The Virginia Department of Transportation confirmed both directions of I-95 remained shut down between Ruther Glen, Virginia, in Caroline County and exit 152 in Dumfries, Prince William County Tuesday morning.

“We are working to get traffic moving again as best we can using every available interchange between Prince William & Caroline counties,” VDOT said in a tweet. “There are interchanges at the following mm: Exit 104, 110 Caroline, 118, 126 Spotsy, 130 FXBG 133, 136, 140, 143, 148 Stafford, 150 & 152 PW.”

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine tweeted that he was stuck on the highway while trying to drive to Washington, DC.

The agency said Monday that emergency crews were responding to more than 600 accidents in the winter weather. Compounding the problem, traffic cameras went offline as much of central Virginia lost power in the storm, the agency said. More than 281,000 customers remained without electricity on Tuesday.

The agency tweeted to the stranded drivers on Monday that reinforcements were arriving from other states to help get them moving again.

“We wish we had a timetable, ETA or an educated guess on when travel will resume on I-95. It’s at a standstill in our area with multiple incidents,” the tweet read. “It’s frustrating & scary. Please know our crews don’t stop. Crews will work 24/7 until ALL state-maintained roads are safe for travel.”

You can view the status of the traffic jam below.

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