KAUFMAN COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - Chopper 7 is returning from the Van Zandt-Kaufman county line where an unbelievable story played out overnight. Hundreds of motorists were stranded in the east bound lanes of Interstate 20 after several 18-wheelers came to a halt on the ice-covered highway last night.
KLTV 7 spoke with a Tyler man this morning who left Love Field Airport at 9:30 Friday night. He spent the night on I-20 inside his car, and finally made it home to Tyler at 9:15 this morning.
He says people walked their dogs through the nigh and children played in the snow along the interstate. Our witness said he kept busy on his cell phone, listening to music all night to make sure he was awake as soon as traffic started moving again!
Incidentally, he says the highway was never "closed" but it closed itself due to the reality that the big trucks just could not move. Mark Petit, a TexDot representatives out of Dallas, tells us as soon as one accident was cleared, another would happen not even miles ahead. The repeated spin-outs and fender-benders only contributed to the problem. Chopper 7 flew over many of them as they were being cleared, Saturday morning.
West bound lanes were moving...but very slowly.
Chopper 7 was in the air this morning when TXDOT sand trucks aided by the heat of the sun were able to lead the stranded vehicles out of back up. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston was in the air and says, "It was a mess."
We were there, and have the only aerial views thanks to Chopper 7 and will have this man's incredible story tonight on KLTV 7 News at 6 and 10.