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Drivers looking for easier routes find themselves stuck

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 18, 2019

MONUMENT – As the sun sets, traffic is moving a little bit faster in northern El Paso County as crews get a handle on snow and slush covering the roads. This morning and afternoon’s winter blast caught many drivers off guard.

As they found out I-25 was blocked by multi-car crashes, some sought an easier path on smaller roads, only to become stuck or sliding off. The problems extended from Monument to Castle Rock.

Driver John Chipps said during his commute there was “a lot of sitting…a couple times…I put it in park and sat there for about an hour…we left Castle Rock about 12:15 and we just now pulled into here and it’s…5:05 so about four and a half hours to get down here from Castle Rock.”

Some people like Chipps were stuck in traffic, while others were stuck in the snow.

We went east of Monument on Baptist Rd. where several cars were abandoned by their owners. Roller Coaster Rd. running north to south was treacherous as well due to all the ups-and-downs on the aptly named road. Further east, deputies had to shut down Hodgens Rd. due to several crashes.

Baptist Road Slideoffs
Baptist Road Slideoffs (KOAA)

It was a frustrating day for many, but made a bit easier thanks to good Samaritans like Justin Mix. He’s a member of CS 4×4 Response.

Mix said, “What we are is a group of volunteers that are willing to go out and help in conditions obviously like this. You slide off, hit us up on Facebook, and we’ll get a group of guys out there as quick as we can to try and help you out…a little before two o’clock we got up here to start winching out and from then on we’ve been here ever since.”

What’s really special is that there’s no absolutely no charge.

Mix said, “I can make sure that people need to get where they’re going because I understand times are tough. Some people can’t afford a tow truck.”

All afternoon the News 5 digital team helped answer questions from people just trying to figure out how to get home to Colorado Springs from Denver, or vice-versa. Unfortunately, we had the job of telling people I-25 was stopped, Highway 105 was blocked by a jackknifed semi, and Highway 83 was at a crawl due to a glut of traffic. So, many had to wait it out.

It wasn’t until a little before 5 p.m. that most cars were towed off. Another danger was big rigs trying to catch traction yet sliding backwards on inclines.

We’re not out of danger just yet as temperatures will remain below freezing overnight. Most portions of the Pikes Peak region will reach above freezing under sunny skies on Saturday.