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Standstill on Bozeman Pass: Family gets stuck on I-90 for more than 10 hours

Posted at 7:20 PM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 21:20:40-04

BOZEMAN — Imagine being stuck in your car in the snow for more than 10 hours—that’s what travelers on I-90 between Bozeman and Livingston experienced on Wednesday.

Traffic was still at a standstill in both directions on Bozeman Pass for most of Wednesday. I spoke by phone with two different women who were stranded in the snow for hours after harsh weather caused commercial vehicles to become stuck, blocking the interstate.

“It’s miserable—we’re just waiting for any type of movement,” said Deana Lane.

Deana was traveling to Colorado with her three daughters and three dogs when traffic stopped shortly after midnight on Wednesday. She said at the time we spoke they had been sitting in their vehicle for 10 hours.

“I just—would really like to not be here anymore,” she said.

Luckily Deana packed food for her and her daughters on the road. She said they were doing their best to preserve gas and did have some help from others on the interstate.

“There was a gentleman going car to car making sure people have water and food,” she said.

Tiffany Cahoon said that as a Montanan, she’s used to what the weather can bring and tries to be patient—but her patience was wearing thin.

“I don’t know what happened, I don’t know if this just really took everyone by surprise—I mean, it is May. That feels surprising, but it is also Montana. You know, we’re supposed to be ready for whatever,” said Cahoon.

“This is a very frustrating situation,” she added. “Plows are getting stuck, responders are getting stuck. There’s 200-some cars stranded, a lot of people ran out of gas.”

The Department of Transportation worked throughout the day to reopen the roads. Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer told us the roads were a mess and it was the worst-case scenario of heavy snow and multiple inches. Search and Rescue headed up Wednesday afternoon to help stranded motorists.

I spoke with Deana around 3 p.m. and she told me they're back on the road to Colorado after westbound traffic started moving.

“I guess just a friendly reminder for everyone, always keep your car stocked up—always have water, make sure you have gas. Like, you just never know in this great state that we live in how the tables are gonna turn.”

As of Wednesday evening, I-90 eastbound remained closed between Bozeman and Livingston.