With many cars totaled in the pile-up today, drivers who are now stranded here in Eau Claire say they hope people will stay off the roads. But, they're trying to figure out how to get back on them quickly.
As tow trucks remove these crunched and crushed cars from the side of I-94 this afternoon, the cars' owners wait anxiously in the nearby Metropolis Resort Hotel's conference room for word on where their vehicles are going.
“It was towed to the side of the road and then towed to a dealership nearby, so I have to figure out who towed it, so I can find out what's going on with the car,” says Cassio Dacunha.
Dacunha says he was en route from Minneapolis to Detroit when the snow really started to hit.
“Just the next thing I know, I see a wall of steel, of cars and people trying to get out of the way,” he recalls. “And the next thing I know, I made contact with a car in front of me, and a split second later I get hit from behind.”
Another driver, Dave Javan, says when his car was clipped by a semi truck triggering a chain reaction, basic survival instincts kicked in.
“It was just to get out of harm’s way. My wife and my daughter were with me and the car that actually hit me, the guy in there was unconscious,” says Javan.
These weary travelers say they're thankful no one had life threatening injuries in the crashes, but they're still worried on how they're getting home to start the work week.
“I actually have a job interview on Tuesday, so I need to be back in Detroit tomorrow to get ready for it. And, I guess, I could try to make some calls but I don't know what I can do, I need to get home as soon as possible,” says Dacunha.
The people who were waiting for word on their cars say the Metropolis Resort has been helpful Sunday with food, drink, and a temporary place to wait. But, the hotel was full Sunday night and people had to find other places to stay.
Fire crews say the I-94 crash and the other crashes from the area sent a dozen people to the hospital today.