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Bozeman man recalls helping mother stranded with her infant during epic Bozeman Pass closure

“If I was in that position with my daughter, I just couldn’t imagine it,” said Josh Rhynard.
Posted at 2:02 PM, May 16, 2024

BOZEMAN — On May 8, a family on Bozeman Pass watched in awe as semis and hundreds of cars became stranded on I-90, some stuck in their cars for over 10 hours. But this family did more than just watch—they went the extra mile by helping those in need.

“If I was in that position with my daughter, I just couldn’t imagine it,” said Josh Rhynard.

On Wednesday, May 8, heavy snow caused commercial vehicles to become stuck on I-90 between Bozeman and Livingston, blocking the interstate.

This left people stranded for upwards of 14 to 16 hours. "Miserable" is how one woman described the event:

“I would just really like to get out of here,” said Deana Lane. “There is a man going from car to car making sure people have food and water.”

Watch previous coverage: Family gets stuck on Bozeman Pass for more than 10 hours

Standstill on Bozeman Pass: Family gets stuck on I-90 for more than 10 hours

That man was Josh Rhynard.

You can see the interstate from our house,” said Rhynard. “It kind of looked like a scene from 'The Walking Dead' to be honest. These cars were just stuck and there was at least a foot of snow around them.”

In the waiting, thousands of people took to social media, sharing updates and any information they could.

“My wife is a part of the Bozeman Hill Road Conditions Facebook group,” said Rhynard.

That’s how the Rhynards heard about a woman stuck on a Greyhound bus with her infant, running out of formula.

“We have a two-year-old and one on the way, so we have plenty of formula,” said Rhynard. "I thought I could probably get down there on a snowmobile.”

And he did just that.

josh rhynard.jpg
Josh Rhynard

“I started working my way through the cars, handing out water and snacks to people,” said Rhynard.

Eventually, he set his sights on the Greyhound bus where the mother in need of formula sat stranded with her infant.

“The mother came and met me. She was very thankful; everyone was very thankful,” said Rhynard.

Rhynard says he would do it all over again if he had to.

“I can’t imagine being stuck in traffic for that long, especially on a Greyhound bus,” said Rhynard. Several people on that Facebook page probably did more than I did. That's just kind of the Montana way, I'd say."