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Mom, kids shelter in ambulance while stranded on Va. highway

“I kept thinking they’re going to die in this cold,” said Vania Masaya


Both northbound and southbound sections of Interstate 95 were closed due to snow and ice.

Photo/Virginia Department of Transportation via Associated Press

By Leila Merrill

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — A mother who was trapped for hours on Interstate 95 in Virginia on Monday told the “Today” TV show that an EMS worker helped her and her children.

Vania Masaya and her two children were among the hundreds of motorists who were stranded in gridlock in a blizzard. Like others, they became stuck Monday and overnight into Tuesday because of overturned tractor-trailers, snow and ice.

Masaya had run out of gas. She and her children had not moved from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

An EMS provider came to her car window, and she started begging for help.

“‘Can you please just take my kids? You don’t need to take us, just take my kids, please,’” Masaya said Wednesday as she was telling her story on TV. “I kept thinking they’re going to die in this cold.”

“It was freezing. My daughter’s cheeks were so cold.”

The EMS provider took all three of them to an ambulance, where they stayed until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, there were no deaths or injuries reported as a result of the icy gridlock, but there has been outrage from motorists.