‘Livid’ Drivers Stranded on I-95 Call Out Governor and VDOT For Failure of Leadership

Fredericksburg, VA — Many drivers who have been stranded on Interstate 95 in Virginia since Monday afternoon are calling out state leaders for failing to adequately prepare roadways for a winter storm and then respond to the icy fallout.

A crash involving six tractor-trailers along I-95 on Monday led to a shutdown of the interstate in all north and southbound lanes between exit 152 and exit 104.


Traffic has been gridlocked since and many who are stranded have taken to social media to express their dismay and outrage over the entire ordeal.

One motorist, Jim DeFede, an investigative reporter for CBS Miami, shared his thoughts about being stranded for 20 hours.

“This is a complete parking lot. Now I don’t know who’s in charge, but somebody better do something because there are just cars and families trapped here this entire time,” DeFede said in a video from inside his vehicle. “I haven’t seen a state trooper in at least 12 hours. I haven’t seen tow truck in at least 14 hours.”


Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) took to social media on Tuesday morning in an effort to reassure stranded drivers help was on the way.

“My team has been working throughout the night alongside @VSPPIO, @VaDOT, and @VDEM to respond to the situation on I-95,” the Governor said.  “State and local emergency personnel are continuing to clear downed trees, assist disabled vehicles, and re-route drivers. An emergency message is going to all stranded drivers connecting them to support, and the state is working with localities to open warming shelters as needed.”


The Governor’s reassurances quickly drew sharp criticism from those outraged over the ongoing incident.

“With all due respect, Sir, efforts to open up ONE lane to re-route drivers should’ve been done 20 hours ago,” a commenter said. “We have been urinating on the side of the roads, are hungry, livid, and DISAPPOINTED in the way the state have (sic) handled this.”

“This never should have happened in the first place. Why weren’t roads treated in advance? People have been stranded for 13+ hours,” wrote Mary Gonzales.

“Why has a state of emergency not been declared!?!?!?” questioned Jasmine Urena. “My family has been stuck for going on 13 [hours]!!! [Five] officers are covering a 40 mile stretch of highway!!! This is the result of working all night??? I am so scared for my family!!!!”


Others called out the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for not adequately treating roadways before and after the winter storm.


Some like Claudia Creenan, whose family is reportedly stuck on I-95, are also calling for people to be fired as a result of the debacle.

“People need to lose their jobs over this horrendous situation!” she wrote. “Very, very sad excuse for your handling of this!”

In a new statement, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) said it is “in communication” with Virginia transportation officials and “has asked about their unmet needs, estimated time for reopening, and what their plans are for assisting motorists.”

USDOT said it will continue to monitor the situation while VDOT, as of Tuesday afternoon, said “significant headway” is being made.

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