Big Rigs Stranded In Tulsa Area

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Updated: 2/01/2011 10:51 pm Published: 2/01/2011 10:45 pm

A number of 18-wheelers were stranded on Oklahoma Turnpikes and highways.  One truck driver tells FOX23 News he had been stranded since seven this morning with no help along on the Will Rogers Turnpike between Vinita and Miami.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford reports on the challenge of helping many drivers who were brought to a halt by all the snow.

As big as those semi’s are you might think nothing could stop them but this winter storm proved to be a bigger.

One veteran trucker who’s been stuck all day says he’s never seen it so bad in Oklahoma.

The blowing snow was just too much. Driver David Ray for Estes Freight trucking company says he had no options.

As the hours went by the snow drifts building around his big rig only got higher.

"It still wasn't daylight but it was kind of like the road was a whiteout and then all of the sudden I couldn't go anymore and I downshifted and it just kept getting slower and I am just stuck right in the middle of the highway," says Ray.

 He was stuck on the Will Rogers Turnpike northeast of Vinita.

"I can't move. I have tried to move and it won't move," says Ray.

Ray says he left Tulsa for Kansas City last night around 9:30 trying to beat the storm.

It was already sleeting and the storm whipped up stronger and faster than he would have ever imagined.

“I was hoping I could make it home before it got too bad. Didn't quite make it," says Ray.

He had been stuck on the Turnpike since seven this morning.

"I have a couple of inches left in a water bottle and I've got a banana and some chocolate chip cookies the wife made yesterday, a box of chocolate chip granola bars."

 The snow kept piling up.

"It's drifted up around my bumpers and the tires on my truck," says Ray. "The concrete wall between the east bound and west bound interstate in places, it's drifted up as high as the wall on the Interstate."

In his twelve years of driving, Ray says he’s never been stranded like this. All he can do, he says, is wait for Troopers or the National Guard to come to his rescue. "I am just going to sit in the truck where it's warm. I don't think I am close to any houses or businesses or anything like that," says Ray.

After FOX23 News recommended he call OHP for the National Guard help, OHP made their way and picked up Ray and other drivers and took them to safe and warm place in Miami.

Around 8 tonight

Ray says he noticed other trucks that may not have been stuck but pulled to the side of the road.

"There are a couple in front of me that's stopped under a bridge and I think they can move, excuse me, but the road ahead of us is closed,” says Ray.

"They are just parked under this bridge so they can get a little traction when they can start going."

The guard is assisting crews when it comes to helping stranded drivers. If you spot someone who needs help report it as soon as possible. For drivers stranded on the Turnpike calls for the National Guard are being routed through OHP.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

GregOk80 - 2/2/2011 10:39 PM
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I drive for UPS and was one of the few that made it in from Stroud. I wished our company would have taken measures to make sure our drivers were taken care of.
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