Drivers lend a hand to others on I-95 providing food, water

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:59 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As hundreds spent the night on Monday trapped in their vehicles on I-95, some drivers got out to lend a helping hand in what seemed to be a hopeless situation.

Rebecca Gouveia was traveling from New Jersey to Florida after the holidays when she went to pick her daughter up in D.C. on her way home.

“We then proceeded from D.C., down 95 around 1 p.m., and finally got off around 1:45 in the morning,” Gouveia said.

Gouveia says they were stuck on the highway for more than 12 hours.

The mother of two thought her family was never doing to get off the road until they saw some movement early Tuesday morning.

“There were a couple of people that were helping with the issue and had gotten out of their cars,” Gouveia said. “A bunch of young men were able to take shovels and shovel the Stafford exit and helped maneuver several 18-wheelers, so they could back up or pull forward to make an alleyway. If it hadn’t been for those young men, we would probably still be sitting on I-95.”

Gouveia and her family were able to spend the night at a hotel in Richmond with her family before heading back on the road Tuesday afternoon.

Other good Samaritans include Chesterfield truck driver Jean-Carlo Gachet, who says he is used to driving in Northern Virginia traffic but got stuck on 95 around 1 a.m. trying to head to Georgia.

“I try to avoid it as much as I can, but I defiantly hit it at its worse last night,” Gachet said.

After a night of freezing temperatures, Gachet had extra supplies, including a microwave in his truck.

The truck driver warmed up some food and knocked on the window of a small SUV he noticed had been stuck next to him the whole night.

Gachet was able to feed and give water to the driver and his mother, who was also in the car.

“I was like ‘yeah, I’m that truck right there. I noticed you were there with me since 1 a.m., and you must be really hungry and really tired.’ I can only imagine like someone being in a car in that situation - it’s like 10 times worse,” Gachet said.

AAA says, unfortunately, this is a perfect situation to show why drivers should keep and an emergency kit in their car when traveling in winter weather to include chargers, water, blankets and snacks.

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