From WYDOT & the Wyoming Highway Patrol ... Severe winter weather and multiple crashes resulted in a road closure in both directions on Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie on Saturday (Feb. 6th) resulting in motorists becoming stranded behind the crashes. The first crash occurred around 2:20 p.m. near mile post 340 eastbound, approximately 20 miles west of Cheyenne, when a commercial truck crashed into a WYDOT snowplow blocking all lanes. Shortly after that crash, all westbound lanes became blocked due to multiple crashes in the same vicinity (mile post 340).
As law enforcement, first responders, WYDOT and tow companies attempted to sort through and clean up the crashes, stranded motorists and their vehicles became drifted over while stopped in traffic due to the crashes. The drifting became so extreme in the 55 mph wind gusts that Troopers began walking through miles of stuck traffic reassuring motorists and making sure they were ventilating their vehicles with fresh air as the snowdrifts began covering their vehicles or plugging exhaust pipes.
Some motorists were not freed from the drifts until 5:00 a.m. the next morning.
The storm was a harsh reminder to always travel prepared during winter driving. The Wyoming Highway Patrol wants to remind everyone when traveling in inclement weather to keep your fuel tanks full, have extra blankets, a shovel, non-perishable food and water that can help you survive an extended time if you become stranded on a highway. Remember to get out and frequently check that your exhaust is not blocked by snow and ice and is able to vent properly to avoid affixation through carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to occasionally bring fresh air into the vehicle by opening some widows as well.
Stay resourceful, stay with your vehicle and be sure to keep an eye out for your neighbor as not everyone will be as prepared as you are.