Hundreds have been stranded on I-95 in Virginia for more than 12 hours, and they're running out of fuel, food, and water in frigid conditions




A view of cars and trucks stuck in traffic on the I-95 highway at night.
A view of cars and trucks stuck in traffic on the I-95 highway at night.  
  • Hundreds of drivers on I-95 in northern Virginia have been stuck for hours in the snow.

  • Motorists told Insider that they're running out of fuel for heating and have no food or water.

  • Some have been stuck on the road for more than 12 hours, and haven't heard from the authorities yet.

Drivers in northern Virginia have been stuck for hours on Interstate 95 on Monday evening after a crash involving six tractor-trailers and multiple downed trees ground traffic to a halt.

Both north- and southbound lanes of 1-95 were blocked near Fredericksburg, according to Virginia's Department of Transportation.

Many of those locked in the standstill say they are running out of fuel for heating and are without food or water.

The multiple truck accident occurred as Virginia was blanketed with more than 14-inches of snow, leaving more than 400,000 residents without power.

"There's snow everywhere. I need to keep the heat on," Kiran Bose, a driver traveling with four others to Richmond, told Insider. "I'm a quarter tank away from the end."

His car hadn't moved for four hours as of 1.30 a.m. local time, and the 24-year-old recent graduate said what was supposed to be a five-hour drive has turned into a 12-hour ordeal in frigid weather.

"Everyone's in the same boat. Most of them were out of their cars, but they couldn't withstand the cold," Bose said. The temperature in Fredericksburg as of Tuesday at 4:00 a.m. ET is 16 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Accuweather.

The nearest gas station, Bose said, is three to four miles away. "It's a nightmare. We can't walk in the snow. The roads are icy and slippery."

The six-trailer crash happened around noon on Monday, Virginia police said, according to NBC 4 News. The semi-trucks jack-knifed across the roadway.

Since then, crews from Virginia's Department of Transportation have been working through the night to plow roads and relieve the traffic, per the department's Twitter account. VDOT did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Truck driver Matthew Marchand told Insider that he'd been at a dead stop since 6.45 p.m., though he already noticed traffic slowing to a crawl before noon. Overall, he's moved 20 miles in 15 hours, he said.

"The road hasn't been plowed in any appreciable way. There's sections of road that still have a half-foot of snow on them," the 36-year-old said.

Neither he nor Bose said they'd received any word from the authorities on incoming aid.

A view of snow-covered trucks and cars stuck in traffic on the I-95 during the day.
A view of snow-covered trucks and cars stuck in traffic on the I-95 during the day.  

Marchand, whose truck is well-provisioned with fuel, food, and water for winter driving emergencies, said he'd been sharing some of his supplies with nearby drivers. In his travels across the US, he said he'd never seen people stranded without supplies for so long on a snowed-in highway.

"Roads do close. I drive in northern Canada, and roads do get closed for one or two days. But people are prepared for it because they know what the reality is," Marchand said.

"No one driving on I-95 is ever thinking that I-95 is going to shut down for in excess of 14 or 15 hours."

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