Friday Catchall: Trapped on I-17; what would you do? | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Friday Catchall: Trapped on I-17; what would you do? | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

A propane truck fire near Table Mesa Road forced the closure of Interstate 17 in both directions north of the Valley Tuesday evening. The interstate was reopened early Wednesday morning. (ADOT video image)

The Friday Catchall:

• TRAPPED – What would you do — what can you do — if stuck on Interstate 17 behind a crash or disaster? Just sit and wait.

That’s what Denis McAteer of Prescott had to do Tuesday, Aug. 8, when an incident involving a propane truck resulted in both directions of the interstate being shut down.

Oh, I forgot to mention he was there from 3:30 p.m. until 1:15 a.m., when traffic started moving again — for a total of nearly 10 hours.

“What started out as a customary one and a half hour trip to the Valley turned into a 10-hour nightmare,” he said. “Once you’re on I-17 there is no escape.”

Seems Denis was heading to the Valley to pick up his wife. Not only was that delayed, he also noticed a few hiccups in the “system” we call north-south travel in Arizona.

Among them are:

Safety — He had only one bottle of water with him (it was going to be a quick trip, after all);

Lack of information — No one was there with a bullhorn. Via

cellphone, his wife got him the numbers for some TV stations, which told him they were disseminating information for the shutdown through social media (Folks, Dennis is 80 years old and does not do social media); and,

Escape — The act of turning around or getting out of there is impossible. In fact, people who did turn around and drove back on the shoulder were stopped by authorities and placed at the back of…

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