Mom Stranded For Hours With 2 Kids On Snowbound I-95 Shares Her Sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ Story, Ended Up Becoming A 26.5-Hour Odyssey Into Snowbound
Vania Masaya ʙᴇɢɢᴇᴅ Fɪʀsᴛ ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴᴅᴇʀs to ʜᴇʟᴘ her children as ᴛᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs ᴘʟᴜᴍᴍᴇᴛᴇᴅ ʙᴇʟᴏᴡ Fʀᴇᴇᴢɪɴɢ after being sᴛᴜᴄᴋ in the car for 12-plus hours.
A mother described ᴘʟᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴɴᴇʟ Fᴏʀ ʜᴇʟᴘ ᴀs sʜᴇ Fᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ ʜᴇʀ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ’s ʟɪᴠᴇs while sᴛᴜᴄᴋ for hours in Fʀᴇᴇᴢɪɴɢ ᴛᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs in a traffic jam on a highway in Virginia on Tuesday.
Vania Masaya was one of thousands of drivers unable to move for more than 20 hours along a nearly 50-mile stretch of I-95 on Monday and Tuesday thanks to the ᴄᴏᴍʙɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏF ᴍᴜʟᴛɪᴘʟᴇ ᴏᴠᴇʀᴛᴜʀɴᴇᴅ ᴛʀᴀᴄᴛᴏʀ-ᴛʀᴀɪʟᴇʀs, ʀᴀᴘɪᴅ sɴᴏᴡFᴀʟʟ ᴀɴᴅ ʟᴀʏᴇʀs ᴏF ɪᴄᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜɪɴᴅᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴛʀᴀɴsᴘᴏʀᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ crews from clearing the highway.
Masaya was one of many drivers who ran out of gas while sitting in the traffic jam as ᴛᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs ᴘʟᴜɴɢᴇᴅ into the 20s. She and her children had not moved from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday when she grew fearful for their safety. She called for ʜᴇʟᴘ when an EMS worker came to her window.
“I was begging, ‘Can you please just take my kids? You don’t need to take us, just take my kids. I kept thinking they’re going to ᴅɪᴇ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ᴄᴏʟᴅ.” It was Fʀᴇᴇᴢɪɴɢ. My daughter’s cheeks were so ᴄᴏʟᴅ.”Masaya said
The ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ worker took Masaya and her children to an ambulance, where they were able to spend the night and rest until 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
State officials blamed rapidly decreasing ᴛᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs and snowfall that was falling at a rate of up to four inches per hour in some areas for contributing to the epic traffic snarl. The snow was preceded by sleet and rain, which became several inches of ice that prevented tow trucks from being able to move the jackknifed big rigs that were blocking the highway.
Drivers were forced to choose between conserving gas or staying warm, and many gas stations nearby ran out of fuel or did not have power.
Many abandoned their cars after running out of gas and having little to eat or drink. A local bakery truck sᴛᴜᴄᴋ in the jam passed out bread to people in dozens of cars.
The journey from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., that usually takes Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine two hours ended up becoming a 26.5-hour odyssey.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Kaine said
Traffic was once again flowing normally on Wednesday morning.