Mom stuck in car with kids for 24 hours on I-71

WATCH | Family Traveling South on I-71 Stuck on Road for 24 Hours
Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 1:57 PM EST
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GALLATIN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Beshear says the National Guard, Kentucky State Police, and local first responders have assisted road crews in trying to clear the interstate and conducting wellness checks on those stuck on I-71.

“We’re coming from Akron, and we’re traveling down to Florida. I got here at noon yesterday,” said Nakita Patterson, who says she was traveling southbound on I-71 Friday morning. She was directed to exit the interstate, and she’s been stuck on highway 2850 in Verona ever since.

“That’s what I just told the lady in dispatch, she said, ‘they’re on an interstate’ and I asked her, I said, ‘what about the people who were directed off of the interstate?’ and she’s like ‘well honey they’re doing the best they can,’” said Patterson.

Patterson has 5-year-old twins and her 16-year-old son in the car with her. She’s been doing what she can to keep them warm for the past 24 hours.

“Right now, I’m on a quarter tank, so I’m just trying to preserve it so I warm the car up and I turn it off but like even to use the restroom, I had to cradle them outside of the door for them even to use the restroom.”

And they’re not alone. She’s been told by other drivers that there are at least 25 cars stuck on the street as well.

“There’s an old lady, she was in a ditch in front of me, and like she’s still there. No one is helping. besides the people who live in the neighborhood. An older man just brought me and my kids some sandwiches and a soda, but as far as police, I haven’t seen one the entire time I’ve been out here,” said Patterson.

Patterson says there’s only one thing she wants for Christmas now... “I just want help honestly. That’s all I’m asking for is someone to come help us.”