ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The winter storm over the weekend left several drivers stranded for hours after the snow quickly covered the roads before crews could clear it.
Some of the drivers said they waited on 270 for 16 hours before reaching their destination. Friday the snowstorm hit around 4:30pm. Traffic moved about a half mile around 5:30am Saturday. Some drivers ran out of gas during the long stall.
Some truckers traveling across the country were also stranded in the St. Louis area, delaying the delivery of precious cargo.
Driver Eric Ricker was on his way to work when he got trapped on the interstate just a mile from his exit.
“It was like some sort of purgatory, being stuck in limbo. It’s annoying when you got to sit. I’m not a winter guy. Even in Pennsylvania, I hate the little bit of snow we get there. I could never live out here with you guys,” said Ricker.
A Road Ranger convenience store helped those stranded. It offered food, water, shelter, and showers.
All kinds of vehicles slid off roadways from the storm. It made for a busy Saturday for tow truck drivers like AAA`s Aaron Derosier.
He responded to call after call pulling out vehicles that got stuck in the snow.
‘It’s been busy, obviously, but we can only do so many calls at a time. So, it’s just getting to the members as fast as we can,” said Derosier.
Crews with KTVI spent part of their day Saturday with Derosier as he helped stranded drivers.
Among his calls was a scene on Valley Road near Strecker Road in West County.
Michael Noseff from Ellisville lost control of his Ford Focus in the storm and ran into trouble.
Michael said, “I started sliding. I kept spinning the wheel trying to make it grab a little bit, but it never did. I went off the edge of the road and hit the tree.”
Fortunately, Derosier pulled out Michael’s car with his tools. The car only took on minimal damage. Michael wasn`t hurt.
Tom ‘Papa’ Ray, a longtime DJ and owner of Vintage Vinyl, slid off the road trying to get onto Highway 40 west from 141.
“There was a car stalled before me; I was trying to get some momentum. I tried to get around it, but you know, I guess you could say temptation took me and I fell,” explained Ray.
His SUV took damage. He was concerned the 700 records in the vehicle got scratched.
Derosier and another AAA driver recused the DJ’s vehicle and the records.
Over the weekend, several drivers abandoned their cars. A private company’s plow full of salt slid off the road.
AAA officials said by the end of Saturday night they handled some 600 calls for pulling out cars stuck in the snow. They used some 55 trucks to do the job.
The Missouri Highway Patrol said from noon Friday until 3pm Saturday afternoon, they handled 763 calls for service including 471 stranded drivers.