Snowstorm strands Yonkers family on I-95 in Virginia

It was supposed to take the Vannostrands five hours to get to Richmond, Virginia.

News 12 Staff

Jan 6, 2022, 1:19 AM

Updated 866 days ago


A Yonkers family was stuck on I-95 after a snowstorm left them stranded along with other drivers in Virginia.
It was supposed to take the Vannostrands’ five hours to get to Richmond, Virginia.
Instead, the family was one of many who were stuck for almost 24 hours in that I-95 backup more than 40 miles long after 14 inches of snow fell near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
"We just listened to the radio, was listening to the news. That's all we did," John Vannostrand said.
People ended up sleeping in their cars while some other motorists ended up running out of gas as temperatures hovered in the upper teens.
Vannostrand was 500 feet from an exit, but state police told him not to get off because they did not know what the conditions of the other nearby roads were.
Ultimately, the Vannostrands finally made it to vacation in South Carolina.
The Vannostrands' experience is rare, but Heather Pillsworth, with the Department of Transportation said it's a good reminder for motorists to pack their cars with an emergency kit that includes water, blankets and nonperishable snacks.
One other important item people should keep in their vehicles is kitty litter - because one can put it under tires for some extra grip to get out of the snow.
With snow coming Friday, Pillsworth urged for people to stay home. If they have to go out, she recommends for drivers to get behind a plow at about four to five car lengths.
Even with COVID-19 sick calls, she said crews are ready and motorists should be as well.
"Give yourself extra time, extra room. Slow down and always leave plenty of space for other vehicles," Pillsworth said.

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