Troopers save stranded motorists on State Route 27

Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Department of Transportation helped save four people early Wednesday morning after their vehicles became stuck in snow drifts on State Route 27, south of Latah, Wash.

At around 1 a.m. Trooper Greg Birkeland was dispatched to a one vehicle slide-off collision on SR 27 near Latah. He was unable to find the vehicle, and nearly got stuck himself before turning back toward Latah.

The trooper got in touch with WSDOT maintenance techs Robert Bondurant and Russ Wagner, who were in a plow truck and road grader. The trooper and WSDOT techs then made their way back to Spokane. Conditions got worse as they headed back. Just north of Latah, they came across the vehicles stuck in a snow drift. With the help of the plow and and grader, they were able to get the two drivers out of their vehicles and into Trooper Birkeland's patrol car.

As the extreme conditions continued, The trooper and snow trucks were unable to continue north and were forced to turn south to Tekoa. At one point, the grader and plow got stuck, but were able to get out.

Just after 5:30 a.m. Trooper Eugene Trevino was dispatched to another disable vehicle on State Route 27 south of Fairfield. Trooper Trevino found two cars stuck in snow drifts. The trooper got to the drivers and was able to get them to safety. DOT crews were using a large snow blower to open SR 27 Wednesday.

Troopers say the two incidents are a stark reminder of how quickly conditions can change especially on rural highways. They ask motorists to plan ahead and check on road and weather conditions prior to driving on area highways. 

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