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About a dozen semi-truck drivers stranded on Highway 20

Semitruck drivers stranded on Highway 20

ISLAND PARK, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - UPDATE 6:45 p.m. About a dozen semitruck drivers have been stranded on Highway 20 north of Island Park for more than 24 hours. And it looks like they could be stuck there a while longer.

"I've been on this road many times when its snowy and I've never seen this, ever," said Danny Casillas, a stranded semi tow truck driver.

Casillas was on his way from Montana to Twin Falls when he got stuck at the Highway 20 and Highway 87 junction around 9:30 p.m. Monday. That portion of the highway has been closed since Sunday. He says he did see a road-closed sign, but decided it was best to continue on. 

"There was really no place to turn around," he said. "I have a semi wrecker. I was towing another semi so I'm a lot shorter than a full sized truck. But it was already so bad you couldn't turn around and I just didn't want to stop and get stuck way out there farther than where I was at."

Casillas is among about a dozen semitruck drivers stranded in the area. Some of the drivers are out of food and fuel. The Fremont County Sheriff's Office and Fremont County Search and Rescue are taking care of emergency services and bringing them help on snowmobile.

"Some of them haven't ate anything since yesterday," Casillas said. "Fremont County Sheriff's volunteers Search and Rescue came out. They just brought a bunch of fuel and sandwiches for people out here. So we're very thankful for these guys." 

Fremont County brought in Sno-Cats to help dig out the trucks and clear the road, but there is only so much they can do. Casillas says the drivers are frustrated that the roads are this bad and think the state needs to do better.

"It's 2019. Maybe one day, one night stuck out here, but you know, two, three days stuck, this shouldn't be happening," he said. "Like, I know it is crappy weather, but they have big rotaries they can come in here, make a big path, get these guys out of there."

However, the Idaho Transportation Department says the weather conditions are making it impossible to get plows and other vehicles up there.

"We've got drifts anywhere from 6 to 10 feet out there right now," said Megan Stark with ITD. "We've got 40 mile an hour wind gusts. It's pretty bad. So, for safety purposes and keeping everybody warm and everything, we have the road closed."

ITD says, weather permitting, the earliest it can get the semitruck drivers out is Thursday. It says this is one of the worst winters they've seen in a while. There is more snow expected Tuesday night and another storm heading this way in the next few days. 

The truck drivers say they are staying with their trucks. They are watching Netflix and taking naps to pass the time.

Fremont County says it will continue to provide emergency services to the drivers until they can get out. It also asks drivers to use caution and not drive around road closure signs.


Semi-truck drivers are stranded on Highway 20.

These pictures are from one of those truck drivers who has been stranded there since Monday.

Danny Casillas says there are about 10 to 12 trucks all stranded at the junction of Highway 20 and Highway 87 just north of Island Park. 

They have been there since Monday.

Some drivers are even running out of diesel and food. 

Crews from Fremont County have been out there to check on them, but there is not much else they can do.

"Some of them haven't eaten anything since yesterday," said Casillas. "Fremont County Sheriff's volunteers and search and rescue came out. They just brought a bunch of fuel and sandwiches for people out here. So we're very thankful for these guys."

ITD says the drivers are stuck there until at least Thursday. 

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