A motorist who became stranded on South Pass yesterday (Wednesday) has the Wyoming Highway Patrol reminding drivers to stay off closed roads.

Sergeant David Wagener says Wyoming Department of Transportation crews had to plow the motorist out after they went around the road closure gate near Farson and became stuck in a snow drift.

"There's very little to no cell phone service on South Pass in that area so that motorist is very fortunate," said Wagener. "Had that been the day before, they basically would have been on their own due to the whiteout conditions."

"That driver was issued a citation for traveling on a closed highway and eventually sent on their way, but that could have been avoided completely had that motorist heeded the road closure," Wagener added.

Wagener says while road conditions at a closure gate may look favorable, that may not be the case five to twenty miles down the road.

"The sun might be shining and the highway might be clear and dry right there, but that's because those gates are put in locations where people can either turn around and return to a place of safety or where people can exit and have somewhere to either get a hotel, park or make sure they have access to necessities such as food and fuel," said Wagener.

Wagener says drivers caught going around road closure gates without proper authorization can expect a $420 fine. He urges people to check www.wyoroad.info or dial 511 for the latest road conditions before hitting the road.