- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 23, 2016

March for Life organizers had pledged that neither a blizzard forecast nor icy cold temperatures would keep them from descending on the nation’s capital Friday for the annual pro-life event - but returning home is proving to be a more difficult task.

A massive winter storm that rolled through the mid-atlantic and Northeast Friday night has reportedly left busloads of march participants stuck on the side of major highways.

Six buses carrying a group of 330 students and chaperons who traveled to the District of Columbia from Omaha, Nebraska have been stuck on the Pennsylvania turnpike for 11 hours due to a vehicle wreck.

KETV-TV reported Saturday that the buses are stocked with food and water and have plenty of gas but are expected to remain stuck for several more hours.
Likewise a group of 150 people from Diocese of Green Bay in Wisconsin also became stuck due to the wrecks on the turnpike.

Diocese spokeswoman Justine Lodl told WLUK-TV in Green Bay that the group left the District of Columbia a day earlier than planned but their buses became stuck Friday night after they stopped to refuel.

The massive winter storm was forecast to drop as much as 2 feet of snow in the D.C. region, causing many of the thousands of March for Life demonstrators to pack up early after the Friday afternoon event. But as groups headed home, many found themselves stuck on the busy Interstate 76.

A chaperon for another group that was stuck on the turnpike Saturday told CNN that while her students have been able to stay warm on their bus and even reached out to other stranded motorists to let them use the bus restroom, they are concerned about running out of food.

“We’ve been here 16 hours, we need some help,” Lisa Bivins told CNN. “We haven’t had any emergency personnel come through.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said Saturday that emergency crews, aided by the National Guard, are working to get to stranded motorists.

Mr. Wolf said the backups on Interstate 76 began when tractor trailers became unable to climb a hill towards the Allegheny tunnels.

“As progress was made to clear the initial stranded trucks, other trucks also became unable to go up the hill,” read a statement on the governor’s website.

“This caused a backlog for all vehicles. Due to the backlog, emergency crews are unable to get heavy–duty tow trucks to the scene to clear the disabled trucks.”

As emergency crews work to clear the roadway and free the trapped motorists, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is refueling cars that are low on fuel so motorists can keep the heat on in their vehicles. Meanwhile the National Guard is distributing food, water and tire chains to assist drivers.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide