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Snow-packed hills prove to be headache for drivers

By Emily Allen, Multimedia Journalist /Target 13 Investigator , emily.allen@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 21 2013 03:03:10 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 26 2013 08:11:06 PM CST

Snowpacked hills proved to be a headache for drivers trying to make their way on roadways Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Snowpacked hills proved to be a headache for drivers trying to make their way on roadways Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

At least 12 cars stalled on E Garden of the Gods while trying to make their way into the intersection of Austin Bluffs and Nevada Avenue.

Driver Matthew Blanski's black pickup truck skidded for nearly 10 minutes trying to gain traction on the snowpacked hill.

"I knew I needed a push or someone to pull me but I couldn't have made it if someone didn't come and push."

Two employees at ABBA Eyecare left their posts to give Blanski a hand.

"That guy was spinning his tires for like 10 minutes," said Cody Poston.

"Yeah, we saw his tires were spinning and we looked back over 10 minutes later and he was still sitting there," said Isaac Hackler.

Blanski was not the only driver having problems. Colorado Springs Police temporarily shut down E Garden of the Gods between Mark Dabling Boulevard and the intersection of Austin Bluffs and Nevada Avenue because of the amount of cars stuck on the hill. A semi-truck couldn't get traction and rolled down the hill toward oncoming traffic. There were no accidents from the incident.

Colorado Springs Streets Program supervisor Cory Farkas said for his plow team, snowpacked hills are one of their toughest challenges. He cited Woodmen Road and Austin Bluffs for being extremely difficult to tackle.

"Hills are always going to be a problem because you've got a steep incline that's going to have snow and the best we can do it try to de-ice them and if that doesn't work, bring the sanders out to get some traction on it," said Farkas.

But on Wednesday night, the Austin Bluff's hill proved to be even too much for plows. Colorado Springs Police shut down the road because cars were getting stuck.

UCCS student Kirstin Brenna Coco was stranded at the top of the Austin Bluffs hill because the road closure shut down the shuttle to her car.

"I actually called my mom and she was the one that said, 'I can't come get you,' and then I tried taking the bus to Four Diamonds, we have a shuttle here, and it wasn't going up the hill," said Coco.

She counted at least 10 people stranded at the shuttle stop with her. She said more students were on the bus and additional students were stuck at the bottom of the hill.

"What worried us all, that you know, 'what's the liability issue? What's the plan for the weather in the emergency?,'" said Coco.

She stayed with a cheerleading teammate in a dorm on campus. UCCS set up a temporary shelter for stranded students but it said no one stayed at the shelter.

Coco said she is glad the university canceled classes so her classmates and teachers could stay safe and off the roads.

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