I-70 incident leaves truckers and travelers delayed for hours

By: Joseph Dames Email
By: Joseph Dames Email

Today's impact had far-reaching effects, impacting thousands of travelers who were headed west on I-70 when the shooting took place. Some were re-routed; others chose to wait it out in area gas stations and truck stops.

"I hopefully can make my appointment or I will have to sit for a week", said Russell O’Brien who was delayed truck driver this afternoon.

Whether running five minutes late, even 10 minutes behind can throw your schedule off, but lines of semi-trucks needing to get to the delivery spot were frozen on the interstate with nowhere to go.

Truckers unable to head west into Utah today say there really wasn't a viable back-up route available, meaning many big rig drivers just had to wait it out.

"There is no nice way around, it is about 8 hours to go around this predicament, it's going to be maybe 8 hours to sit here, so I’m better off staying here because I wont get to where I need to be", said O’Brien.

It wasn't just commercial drivers unable to keep on rolling, summer travelers also got stuck bumper to bumper.

Sisters Karen McGuirk and Laurie Buniger said, “we were headed to California and we got about a mile and a half west of rabbit valley and came to a screeching halt".

Drivers could either wait or take the detour. They were first directed up highway 139 to Rangely, then Price Utah and back to I-70. That option was at least six and a half hours on the road.

Eventually highway 6 westbound was approved as an alternate route...only tacking on about a half an hour to get back to I-70, but it is a dirt road not really meant to handle heavy truck traffic.

As of 5 this evening officials have opened one lane westbound.

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