The Wyoming Highway Patrol reminds motorists to prepare for winter driving and the hazards of drifting snow, according to a prepared statement from Patrol Sgt. David Wagener.

On Saturday, severe winter weather and multiple crashes lead to the closure of Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, and stranded motorists behind the crashes.

The first crash occurred at 2:20 p.m. about 20 miles west of Cheyenne when a commercial truck crashed into a Wyoming Department of Transportation snowplow.

That blocked all lanes.

Shortly after that, multiple crashes blocked all westbound lanes in the same area.

Stranded motorists and their vehicles became drifted over while law enforcement, first responders, WYDOT and tow companies attempted to sort through and clean up the crashes.

The drifting became so extreme in the 55 mph wind gusts that troopers walked through miles of stuck traffic reassuring motorists. They made sure motorists were ventilating their vehicles with fresh air as the snowdrifts began covering their vehicles or plugging exhaust pipes.

Some motorists were not freed from the drifts until 5 a.m. Sunday.

The storm was a harsh reminder to always travel prepared during winter driving.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol reminds motorists traveling in inclement weather to keep fuel tanks full.

Likewise, carry extra blankets, a shovel, non-perishable food and water. They can help you survive an extended time if you become stranded on a highway.

Remember to frequently check exhaust pipes to ensure they aren't blocked by snow and ice, and are able to vent properly to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Occasionally bring fresh air into the vehicle by opening some windows as well.

Stay resourceful, stay with your vehicle, and keep an eye out for your fellow travelers.

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