Northam walks back comments pointing fingers at drivers for I-95 stranding

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds of drivers sat in their cars overnight Monday after a winter storm and multiple jackknifed tractor-trailers made it impossible for drivers to continue traveling along Interstate 95 in the Fredericksburg area. After some drivers waited upwards of 24 hours to get off the interstate, the state’s response has been under heavy scrutiny.

When questioned about what went wrong during a Zoom interview with WRVA, Governor Northam said he was “sick and tired” of that terminology being used. Instead, insisting government agencies deserved to be thanked for their response after the snowfall was more severe than expected. He went on to question why drivers were on the highway during the storm, to begin with.

8News interviewed the governor Thursday and asked him why he turned the blame for the I-95 shutdown onto the drivers. Northam walked back his previous comment and said that this isn’t the time to blame anyone.

“We certainly don’t want to blame the drivers, again I feel sorry for folks who were stuck on the highways for hours,” Northam said.

The governor said many people suffered on the highway for hours, and hours. Northam said that the state wants to prepare the best they can for future winter weather.

When questioned if the state should have done more to prepare, the governor said they need to take a hard look at the communications systems used to alert drivers.

“If they can prevent being out in those situations, that’s what we want to happen,” Northam said.

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