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Driver shares his experience in I-90 traffic backup

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-01 18:48:41-05

Interstate 90 was closed Tuesday night from Big Timber to Livingston due to high winds and dangerous road conditions.

“We had whiteout conditions and the road became almost a sheet of glass, to the point where the road was too slick to walk on, let alone drive,” said Park County Sheriff, Brad Bichler.

Charles Tillman, who was stuck in the traffic backup, shares his experience.

“I was headed from Bozeman to Livingston and when I approached Jackson Creek, I noticed that there were brake lights as far as the eye could see in front of me,” said Tillman.

He says he got onto Frontage Road, but traffic was held up there too.

Tillman said, “We sat there for two hours and didn't move at all and no one was moving on Interstate 90 either.”

Tillman explains how he traveled at low speeds and saw semi trucks and cars stopped along the road. He says Tuesday wasn't even the worst day for travel on I-90.

“The worst day was Monday," said Tillman, "I actually fishtailed several times. I thought I was going to lose control Monday. Tuesday was a little bit better."

Sheriff Bichler witnessed many accidents due to the slickness of the road.

“If I said 30 or 40 [accidents] that would be a pretty easy guess I would think,” said Sheriff Bichler.

Tillman believes road maintenance has something to do with these closures.

“This year, like the last three days, usually when you see a big snow storm like that you usually would see plow trucks regularly sanding the roads, and they weren’t sanding as often as they should,” said Tillman.

According to the Montana Department of Transportation, Interstate 90 reopened Wednesday afternoon.