Californian Driving Mini Cooper Causes Four-Hour Delay & Numerous Wrecks On I-80

A Californian driving a Mini Cooper caused four hour delays and numerous wrecks because the driver wanted to see if Interstate 80 was passable.

Jimmy Orr

March 15, 20212 min read

Mini cooper in snow 2
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A Californian driving a Mini Cooper through Sunday’s blizzard caused some major problems in Laramie area when he ventured out on Interstate 80.

A Wyoming State Trooper called Wyoming air personality Glenn Woods’ radio program Monday morning to discuss the impact of the Californian who mistakenly went out on the Interstate to see if the roads were fit for a Mini Cooper.

They weren’t, of course, and the Californian got stuck on the Interstate.

At least two snowplow drivers who were trying to avoid the Mini Cooper got in an accident which halted cleanup activity in the area.

Subsequently all of the snowplows were then stuck on I-80 until the wreckage could be moved from the road which severely impacted all cleanup efforts for miles.

“Because of this one individual, our entire fleet of plow trucks were landlocked,” the trooper said. “This cost thousands of dollars to the truckers and really hampered snow removal efforts.”

But it didn’t stop there. Because this portion of the Interstate was closed, drivers tried to divert away from the closure by going through Laramie itself.

Problem was, the roads were worse inside the city than on the Interstate. 

“These drivers got stranded in drifts all over Grand Avenue,” the trooper said.  

The exasperated trooper said it took more than four hours to clean up the mess created by the Californian. Plus, numerous snow plows — instead of plowing roads — were sidelined during the ordeal.

“If we can keep the plows moving, we stand a better chance of keeping up with the storm,” he said. “Once you gridlock us, we’re done.”

Sadly, the Californian was not arrested but was ticketed and had to pay the cost for the tow back to Laramie.

“When you get those tow bills as a result of these bad decisions, that’s quite a punishment in itself,” the trooper said.

Hopefully there’s a comma in that tow bill.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.