Harrowing night on the highway

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I am writing you today in optimism that what I am about to share may benefit the lives of those that read it, and may cause abrupt efforts to be made to better a situation that I believe demands immediate attention. 

I am aware that, in writing you, I will be exposed to public scrutiny due to the fact that I did not personally inquire as to the highway driving conditions between Marystown and Goobies prior to leaving my residence in Marystown; however, this is not the time for me to be selfish. I hope that your readers will take the time to read my recollection of what I refer to as the most terrifying night of my life.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, we were in the middle of a power outage due to recent poor weather and a province-wide power conservation. It was cold, and in the Marystown/Burin area, we had just received a considerable amount of snow. I am presently residing in the Marystown vicinity, as this is my current place of employment. Due to the lack of electricity and what was forecasted as a lengthy restoration period, I decided that I would return home as I was informed that it could be days before returning to work. I am originally from the east coast, and I decided that, due to a below-freezing temperatures inside my place of residence, I would venture back to St. John’s, until electricity was restored and I could return to Marystown and resume work.

Saturday evening at approximately 5 p.m., I heard of the delayed power restoration that would not happen until tentatively Wednesday or Thursday of the following week. At this time I decided I would return home. I packed my car. The weather was cold, the wind-chill reading at -26 degrees Celcius, the snow had stopped and the roads in Marystown were clear and maintained. I drove through the dark, power-less town and ventured towards Mooring Cove where the road was blocked by a Department of Transportation and Works pickup truck.

I pulled off the road, and a government employee exited his truck and approached my car. I asked if the highway, Route 210, was open. He responded with, “Yes, we are just waiting on an ambulance, which is headed this way. Where are you headed?”

I proceeded to tell the man that I was en route to St. John’s. He replied that two flyers had just headed north, but the roads were cleared and there should be no issue with reaching my destination if I took my time. He, at this time, moved his pickup and proceeded to allow me access to the Burin Peninsula Highway.

I carried on with my trip home. I was driving at approximately 60-70 km/hr due to the conditions of the road since the storm. I made it through Red Harbour and consecutive communities without difficulty. There was no snow falling at this time, and though the roads were snow-covered in sections, I had nothing impeding me from continuing my commute.

I noticed that besides the southbound ambulance that I met around Parker’s Cove, there were no other vehicles on the road. I thought this was strange, as I was advised that the roads were cleared and passable. By the time I reached the exit to St. Bernard’s-Bay L’Argent, I quickly ran into whiteout conditions and extreme drifting. I slowed my car down considerably, as visibility had quickly diminished within seconds. It was only minutes later that I found myself in what I consider to this day the most terrifying situation that I have ever been subject to in my 26 years. It went from driving on a cleared road to literally being buried.

I was 11 kilometers north of the St. Bernard’s-Bay L'argent exit, and my car could neither reverse, nor move forward. It was dark, the snow was covering the front of my car, my door could not open due to the snow that had me trapped in my car, and I was in the middle of the Burin Peninsula Highway on a freezing, cold Saturday night.  

Initially, the situation that I had now found myself in seemed surreal, ironically like something out of a movie. It took me a couple minutes to realize that I was trapped and that my best efforts were completely useless in my attempts to move in any way. I couldn’t move forward, I couldn’t move backward, I couldn’t open my door, I couldn’t see to my left, I couldn’t see ahead of me.

I immediately looked at my partially charged cellphone that read so blatantly ‘no service’.

I felt my heart pounding faster and faster, and all I could think was that there were two flyers somewhere on the road with me stuck in the middle of it.

I started to hold my phone up in any direction to see if I could obtain any service. I found one bar of intermittent cell coverage in my backseat in the top right hand corner. I dialed 911, a number I have never dialed myself, yet I am the recipient of on a regular basis in my career as a paramedic. On the other end, an RCMP representative took my call. I explained my situation and did what I have told so many to do. I tried to stay calm. The dispatcher, after being advised of my predicament, asked abruptly, “Why are you on the road? It has been closed down since this afternoon! No one is to be on Route 210 tonight.”

I stated that a worker with Department of Highways himself granted me access. She told me this was impossible, as no one was to be on the road. I told her again my biggest fear was that if these flyers were southbound they would not see me, as I was buried in the middle of a massive drift. She then told me to hold the line while she tried to transfer me to the Department of Highways to see if there was anything they could do. There was no answer. I called 911 again, and at this time, I was told that there was nothing they could do, that they would send someone in the morning, that I would receive help by noon on Sunday.

Panic set in. I said, “Noon tomorrow?! You just as well bring a body bag, its -26 degrees Celcius with the wind chill and the temperature is dropping!” I was answered with, “There is nothing else we can do. Even emergency services with the Department of Highways are off the road for the night.”

In my profession, we are trained to hide our emotions during some of the most stressful and heartbreaking moments you can imagine. We are trained to be brave, to help in any way we can, to do no harm, to walk into people’s lives on their worst days and provide assistance in any way possible. This can vary from initiating CPR in attempts to save a life, to crawling into wrecked vehicles on the highway and rescuing people out of them, to giving assistance to the elderly. Our calls are vast in nature, and we are to respond equally in our demeanor and reactions to provide the care that we are called to give.

Yet, with several years as a paramedic under my belt, when I heard the chilling words of “noon tomorrow,” my heart broke and the tears started, as I realized that anything could happen between then and noon on Sunday. I called home to my parents, a call I did not want to make. My mother answered and could instantly tell something was wrong. I asked to speak to my father, and she demanded to know what was going on. I remained calm as I told her, and she began to cry. She got my father who immediately said he was leaving St. John’s to come find me. I told him it was pointless, as the RCMP told me that the road was blocked now on both ends and there was no way to get access to me.

He advised me to keep calm, leave my four-way flashers on and should I see someone approaching, flash my lights in hopes that they might see me. He also told me to keep my window down a crack, as carbon monoxide poisoning could be an issue as snow may have clogged my exhaust. I attempted to get out through my door to brush off my rear hazard lights and see if I could clear my exhaust pipe. The winds were extremely high, and my only access to getting out of my car was my passenger side window, which I managed to crawl out of and dig my door open. I quickly got back into my car as the elements were harsh, and I did not want to get chilled so prematurely in the night, as I was expecting to be there for an extended time.

I sat there, and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time. I prayed. I prayed that someway I would be rescued, or that I at least would survive the night.

It was terrifying to think that the winds were only getting stronger and my car was continuing to only accumulate more snow. How would the plows see me in the morning? They’re going to need to be driving fast to get through these drifts. Will I be killed by one of them if I live through the night? Will I freeze overnight? What was the man thinking that let me on this highway tonight? Why are there no snow fences in place on such a barren frequently used highway? What would happen if an ambulance needed to get through here tonight? Would they clear the road for them? Is that life more important than mine? What if I was an elderly person? What if I had a small child with me? What if I didn’t have that one bar of cell reception? Why don’t they see it important to come find me?

All these questions raced through my mind as I sat there for what seemed like forever. I called a friend in Terrenceville. I called a fellow medic, begging them to come find me or find a way to get me. All efforts were appearing void. It seemed that this would be where I would spend the night, and I was already so cold. A while later I received a call from the RCMP stating that my father had called them and someone would attempt to come find me, but no guarantees were being made that they would succeed.

At approximately 11 p.m., I saw the flashing red and blue lights reflecting through my rear windshield. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. With the two officers help, I packed my belongings in the back of the RCMP cruiser and headed back to Marystown. I will be forever thankful that these officers risked their own lives and ventured out on that frigid night to find me. I am alive, and I am thankful. Yet living through such an ordeal, I can’t help but feel responsible to somehow seek answers as to why this happened, and better yet, make sure it never happens to anyone again. Improvements need to be made to this road. Safety is vital here. Crews need to be responsible for maintaining the roads 24-hours-a-day. When a storm is not ongoing, it is simply unacceptable for the roads not to be maintained. What will it take for this to improve? A reoccurrence? A death? Multiple deaths?

I hope someone reads this that has the power to make a decision to better these roads, to make sure these roads are maintained at all hours. To make sure that no one else is ever found in a situation similar to mine because they might not react how I did. They might panic, they might venture out in the snow and attempt to walk when the person on the other end says, “We will have help to you by noon tomorrow.” Then our best endeavours are too late. It could have been too late for me. But, thankfully, I have two parents who cared and didn’t stop until someone said they would come look for me, a God that heard my prayers, a background and training that kept me level headed and thinking clearly, and, thankfully, two RCMP officers that acted as my hero’s that night. 

I seek answers as to why I was allowed on the Burin Peninsula Highway on Jan. 4, 2014, but better yet, I beg for drastic measures to be taken, that this never happens to anyone again, that better snow clearing protocols be established immediately.

The Burin Peninsula Highway has a terrible reputation for being dangerous this time of year. You would think that at least these treacherous roads that have earned this reputation, at the bare minimum, be cleared. Should improvements result from this, then what I refer to as the most terrifying night of my life would not be in vain, but may at least spare others of the fear and anxiety that I was caused.

Better yet, it may save a life.

Melissa Penney,

Marystown

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Recent comments

  • Marie
    January 16, 2014 - 21:55

    We have access to 911 on the Burin Peninsula?

  • Darlene
    January 16, 2014 - 19:25

    So glad you and your rescuers made it back safe and sound that night. You indeed made a bad judgement call that night, but don't we all at some point in our lives? You seek answers but please do not put the blame on those who are out there risking their lives too. I will never travel during winter unless I have an up to date road report. It is better to stay put than risk your own and others' lives. Rescuers are trying their best to do their job, that doesn't mean they are God. So glad you prayed that night, that was definitely a great decision. A lesson to be learnt by all.

  • Jacqueline
    January 16, 2014 - 12:37

    I am so glad that you are ok. This story brought tears to my eyes, i can't imagine the hopelessness that you must have felt as you heard them say, "theres nothing we can do". My personal opinion, the roads not being cleared were expected with the roads being closed and all. BUT, when you call 911 and receive no help? Wow! You said yourself, being a paramedic you risk your life to save others all the time, and this situation shouldn't have been any different! Department of highways and the RCMP should have assisted an ambulance in retrieving you. And yes everyone knows these roads are harsh in the winter but we have all decided to venture out in it at one time or another. To the ones that criticize you for attempting the road conditiion...... Well you must have issues with your head to not see how our emergency system failed this women. WAKE-UP and see the bigger picture here! I'm very dissappointed with the manner in which so called professionals ahould have handled this situation. To you Melissa, thank you for sharing your story and i pray this never happens to anyone else. Jacqueline

  • J.O.
    January 16, 2014 - 12:15

    Thanks for sharing the experience. Hopefully some good comes out of it whether it be better road clearing or better decision making by those using it. For all the haters out there let's concentrate on the positives that can be brought from this rather than the rants. The writer is aware of the mistakes and hopes to help others by sharing the experience. Glad it turned out well Melissa.

  • J.O.
    January 16, 2014 - 11:38

    Thanks for sharing the experience. Hopefully some good comes out of it whether it be better road clearing or better decision making by those using it. For all the haters out there let's concentrate on the positives that can be brought from this rather than the rants. The writer is aware of the mistakes and hopes to help others by sharing the experience. Glad it turned out well Melissa.

  • Melissa
    January 16, 2014 - 10:31

    Thank you for all the responses on this, I will admit some of them were hard to read, but like Julie commented, we all have a right to our opinion. I agree some were downright mean, some were kind, and some were respectful yet cautioning, which I also appreciate and will remember. However, I would like to clarify, I have not in my letter, nor will not personally attack anyone involved. Yes, I still wonder why that man told me I would have no issue getting to Goobies and moved his truck to let me pass. But that's no attacking, that's questioning. I understand I should have checked the roads report, you're all correct, but I never which left me dependent on my first hand information I received from a worker himself(not an online source, or someone sitting at a desk). Either way, I still could have called, I will in the future. I didn't write this letter to complain or blame anyone, I wrote it to hopefully start something in way of improvement for the Burin Peninsula Highway. Whether that be snow fencing in open areas, or how about another cell tower to improve coverage?? I understand that plow operators cannot be out during storms due to their own safety, but why isn't there 24 hour plowing mandated on the Burin Peninsula(with the exception of severe weather)? I live in the St. John's area and the high roads, low roads, side streets, highways, are all plowed 24/7, and if they're not plowed well at least they will be soon because they work around the clock. Call me a townie but I like my 24/7 plowing services, think you all deserve the same. Are the citizen's safety of St. John's/Mount Pearl/Paradise more important than yours on the Burin Peninaula?? Of course not, so why is there more efforts being made to look after that area. If there was a patient who needed to get to the Health Science that night for life saving measures and couldn't due to that road not being cleared and died, who would the onus be on then? I'm not justifying my actions, simply stating there's improvements to be made, now is the time to make them, and if not now, what's it gonna take???? For those that thought it was ok to call me Stupid, and selfish, and how you hope that you never have to depend on me as a paramedic one day, I hope your words don't come back to haunt you. If your eyes seen half the terror, pain, and hurt that mine have, you might think differently. But that's my job, that's what I do and I am proud to admit that, but don't judge so hastily, you never know where you might find yourself some day. With that said, here's to hopefully bettering the conditions of the road that as already taken many lives.

  • gonza
    January 16, 2014 - 08:22

    Chuck Norris has to ride a polar bear to get up the Burin Hwy some nights....mind you the reason he does that, is so the flyers can plow the road by following the incredibly bright glowing beacon of awesomeness his aura gives off! Moral of the story...if Chuck Norris hadn't ventured out of the cave home he carved from the granite, using his fingers as chisels and his fist as the hammer, in order to help clear the hwy, then you should probably avoid traveling.

  • Seth
    January 16, 2014 - 08:01

    I agree with Mary, THAT is the scary part about the Burin Hwy....road conditions that change in minutes. The phenomenon that you encountered is rolling snow, essentially a wave of wind driven snow that builds in mass the further it is goes unimpeded. Its well known across the prairies and can change a clear road on a clear night into an impassable stretch, engulfing any vehicles. I do believe you used poor judgment attempting to travel at night especially during the power outage however, the "do not travel" advisory was for a reason. I'm shocked at the RCMP dispatcher though, if that's true they should be reprimanded, as much as I would have hated to be the officers responding, that is part of their job. If someone had been in a collision, would the ambulance fire and police dept. have said sorry, it's not ideal conditions...NO that is why the are part of Emergency Response. Use better judgment next time please, finding yourself in a bad or scary situation while traveling is often avoidable if you make smart decisions...but sometimes things just happen due to variables beyond your control. LJ...you're just a loudmouth, over-opinionated, perfect human being aren't you, your mother must be proud of the thoughtful and kind person she raised! God forbid you ever find yourself in over your head, you twit. Proud member of 911

  • Joan
    January 16, 2014 - 07:08

    The BP Highway is a nightmare at times in the best of weather! You were very fortunate that you got off that road alive that night! My hat goes off to the RCMP officers who went to your rescue! However, I do have to make this comment and this is in no way to belittle you or scold you for making such a poor decision to go on the highway in the height of a snow storm and at 5 pm! The power was also out in St. John's with the same report as Marystown with the possibility of not returning until Monday or Tuesday, I know this because I live in St. John's and was without power! As well, you said that you are a paramedic! In your work you must have travelled the BP Highway and at some point must have encountered bad weather! And, why would you venture out on such a desolate stretch of road to begin with without checking the road condition?! I know you enquired in the Mooring Cove area, but your decision to go on the highway was already made before you spoke with this person! Numbers to call to check road conditions on the BP Highway are posted on the side of the road, in the phone book and online! It is your life and you carelessly made a bad decision regarding your well being! Thank God you did make it back to Marystown safe! Thank you for sharing your story, because bad decisions can lead to bad outcomes and hopefully, someone reading this might remember your poor decision should they decide to venture the BP Highway or any highway when weather conditions are poor and questionable!

  • linda Douglas/Daryl Douglas
    January 15, 2014 - 15:55

    Linda Douglas if the DTW tells you the roads are cleared and then moves he's truck and tells you to proceed in my opinion that person should be held responsible for being the stupid person that night and not the poor lady that was stuck in the middle of no where,thank god she was rescued.

  • linda Douglas/Daryl Douglas
    January 15, 2014 - 15:54

    Linda Douglas if the DTW tells you the roads are cleared and then moves he's truck and tells you to proceed in my opinion that person should be held responsible for being the stupid person that night and not the poor lady that was stuck in the middle of no where,thank god she was rescued.

  • Rachel in marystown
    January 15, 2014 - 15:37

    There is always that nasty person that will insult you instead of being grateful a human being didn't die...like LJ but regardless of what you were thinking you were still stuck on a dangerous highway in a blizzard scared and alone. I've traveled this highway my whole life and anyone that lives here knows the conditions can change at a moments notice. I'm sorry you had to endure this scary experience, unlike LJ who obviously knows everything there is to know about driving on highways in bad winter storms. I'm glad you survived what could have a tradegy.

  • Rachel in marystown
    January 15, 2014 - 15:34

    There is always that nasty person that will insult you instead of being grateful a human being didn't die...like LJ but regardless of what you were thinking you were still stuck on a dangerous highway in a blizzard scared and alone. I've traveled this highway my whole life and anyone that lives here knows the conditions can change at a moments notice. I'm sorry you had to endure this scary experience, unlike LJ who obviously knows everything there is to know about driving on highways in bad winter storms. I'm glad you survived what could have a tradegy.

  • LJ
    January 15, 2014 - 14:19

    I was reading your letter and by the time I got 3/4 thru I was so angry I could not go on. You have to be the stupidest person alive, no body in their right mind would travel the BP highway in weather conditions like that during the day, and you in your wisdom leave at 5 pm. I'm not from the BP but anyone in NL that know anything know you don't travel that highway in a storm. Not only were you crazy enough to do it but you put other peoples lives in danger to come and look for you. ..and no I do not know anyone involved. I hope to God I never have to need you as a paramedic, because you obviously have no common sense. News Flash, the reason the road is not maned 24 hrs a day is because it's to dangerous to be on it.... OMG I am so angry and some-peoples stupidity. Grrrr

  • LJ
    January 15, 2014 - 14:18

    I was reading your letter and by the time I got 3/4 thru I was so angry I could not go on. You have to be the stupidest person alive, no body in their right mind would travel the BP highway in weather conditions like that during the day, and you in your wisdom leave at 5 pm. I'm not from the BP but anyone in NL that know anything know you don't travel that highway in a storm. Not only were you crazy enough to do it but you put other peoples lives in danger to come and look for you. ..and no I do not know anyone involved. I hope to God I never have to need you as a paramedic, because you obviously have no common sense. News Flash, the reason the road is not maned 24 hrs a day is because it's to dangerous to be on it.... OMG I am so angry and some-peoples stupidity. Grrrr

    • Jacqueline
      January 15, 2014 - 21:42

      To LJ: she called the people that are PAID to risk their lives for others, and if you do ever have to call a paramedic and they refused to come help i would call that karma! Common sense? HA, your so ignorant to be angry over the terrible situation she faced. Some people and their egos! :/

  • Judy
    January 15, 2014 - 13:09

    Hi I read this and tears came to my eyes.first I like to say I'm very glad your safe. Second you are so true that that road is VERY dangerous and in my option has already taken to many lives its time someone do something so it doesn't take anymore so I hope this gets it done

  • Rick
    January 15, 2014 - 13:01

    Julie and Sarah, it must be nice to be perfect and to be able to draw conclusions from a story that you obviously did not read. The author stated "I did not personally inquire as to the highway driving conditions between Marystown and Goobies prior to leaving my residence in Marystown" and the author also stated that a DTW worker said "two flyers had just headed north, but the roads were cleared and there should be no issue with reaching my destination if I took my time". So, driving 60 or 70 is taking your time and asking a DTW worker is the best approach to knowing if the roads are passable. As you probably never have traveled the BP, there are no highway cams on the road. Stop criticizing the person who ensured the ordeal and go back to your perfect lives.

    • Julie
      January 15, 2014 - 16:49

      Actually Rick, I read the article thoroughly which is why I questioned the lack of common sense in not checking the road updates, as the author stated. As far as the BP Highway, I travel it daily, which is the reason why I know to check all road updates, as should anyone else who travels these roads. I also know that it was all over every type of media through out the day that the roads were not safe, and that people were advised to stay where they were. Regardless if two flyers or ten flyers just headed north, anyone who travels these roads know that it is irrelevant if the snow is drifting. Flyers do not stop the wind. Also, I am not criticizing the person; I am criticizing her irresponsible actions. We are after all allowed our opinions as well.

    • Julie
      January 15, 2014 - 16:52

      Actually Rick, I read the article thoroughly which is why I questioned the lack of common sense in not checking the road updates, as the author stated. As far as the BP Highway, I travel it daily, which is the reason why I know to check all road updates, as should anyone else who travels these roads. I also know that it was all over every type of media through out the day that the roads were not safe, and that people were advised to stay where they were. Regardless if two flyers or ten flyers just headed north, anyone who travels these roads know that it is irrelevant if the snow is drifting. Flyers do not stop the wind. Also, I am not criticizing the person; I am criticizing her irresponsible actions. We are after all allowed our opinions as well.

    • Julie
      January 15, 2014 - 16:52

      Actually Rick, I read the article thoroughly which is why I questioned the lack of common sense in not checking the road updates, as the author stated. As far as the BP Highway, I travel it daily, which is the reason why I know to check all road updates, as should anyone else who travels these roads. I also know that it was all over every type of media through out the day that the roads were not safe, and that people were advised to stay where they were. Regardless if two flyers or ten flyers just headed north, anyone who travels these roads know that it is irrelevant if the snow is drifting. Flyers do not stop the wind. Also, I am not criticizing the person; I am criticizing her irresponsible actions. We are after all allowed our opinions as well.

  • Julie
    January 15, 2014 - 11:19

    So you live in Marystown and travel those roads on a regular basis yet did not check the road conditions for yourself - something all of our children who live on the Burin Peninsula learn to do when they get their drivers license. You claim that before you reached the St. Bernards turn off the conditions were fine, yet you say you could only drive 60 - 70 k/hr because of road conditions – which one is it? You made the conscious decision to travel a highway that is well known for the dangers it holds during bad weather. You made the conscious decision to travel during a storm at night. It is not the Department of Highways responsibility to stop you from traveling, it is yours. During good weather or bad, daylight or darkness, it is your responsibility to make informed decisions as to traveling on the highways. Maybe instead of condemning the highway worker, or any other public employee you should consider your own responsibilities. When you are done considering that, maybe you should also consider that fact that your actions put lives at risk. You phoned a person in Terrenceville to come and get you, how selfish to assume someone else should venture out onto a road you already knew was treacherous. Did you realize that your stupidity could have endangered your fathers life as well? The answer you seek so badly is simple… get a grain of common sense and learn how to use it instead of blaming people for your mistakes.

  • Sarah
    January 15, 2014 - 08:21

    While I am sorry that you had to go through such a traumatic experience, I believe you brought much of this on yourself. You stated yourself that you are aware you'll be subjected to public scrutiny and I think you know that's because, ultimately, you are responsible for being on the roads that night. The BPH *is* known for being dangerous, especially at that time of year. When conditions get to that point, NO ONE should have to risk their lives to be on them. Snow can be cleared when there's a break in the weather. What would have been the response if those two officers had lost their lives that night trying to reach you? What of their families? I can understand how traumatic it was for you and your parents who received your phone call, but the people who came to look for you also have people at home waiting for them. I think the lesson of the story here shouldn't be that they need better snow clearing protocols on the highway. It should be that people need to take extreme caution before they jump in a vehicle and decide to drive. As the driver, the onus is on you to find out about road conditions and closures and to, at the very least, exercise common sense and not hit a highway that is known to be dangerous, at night, during a blizzard.

  • Sharon
    January 15, 2014 - 06:08

    What a horrendous ordeal! I can identify with you to a large degree as 12 years ago I found myself in a similar situation on the Burin Peninsula between Red Harbour and Rushoon in blizzard conditions. The only difference was that it was in the morning. However, due to extreme whitout conditions, very high snow banks on both sides of the road and little or no shoulder on the road, I had to stop as I could see absolutely nothing. I knew I was in the driving lane, likely with traffic coming in both directions. Extreme panic! I thought I was going to die on that stretch of road that day! Thankfully, a slight break in the drifting and an oncoming motorist (whom I would not have seen without the slight break in drifting), helped me to turn around and follow him back to Marystown. I will never forget that ordeal. Weather in Marystown was clear when I left and when I got back and no road advisories had been issued.

  • Sharon
    January 15, 2014 - 06:07

    What a horrendous ordeal! I can identify with you to a large degree as 12 years ago I found myself in a similar situation on the Burin Peninsula between Red Harbour and Rushoon in blizzard conditions. The only difference was that it was in the morning. However, due to extreme whitout conditions, very high snow banks on both sides of the road and little or no shoulder on the road, I had to stop as I could see absolutely nothing. I knew I was in the driving lane, likely with traffic coming in both directions. Extreme panic! I thought I was going to die on that stretch of road that day! Thankfully, a slight break in the drifting and an oncoming motorist (whom I would not have seen without the slight break in drifting), helped me to turn around and follow him back to Marystown. I will never forget that ordeal. Weather in Marystown was clear when I left and when I got back and no road advisories had been issued.

  • Susan
    January 15, 2014 - 01:07

    Seriously what were you thinking! The Burin Peninsula Highway is terrible in any snowy conditions. And to go at night! I had to drive to and from work Saturday night and that was terrible conditions. You must of know how bad it was. And the reason why roads are not pliers 24/7 is because sometimes the conditions are unsafe for the drivers to be out. They shouldn't have to risk their lives so people with no coon sense can get to St. John's.

  • J Sears
    January 14, 2014 - 12:30

    Very glad you are safe after such a scary experience.