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Dad’s dramatic account of driving through Siberia-like conditions as he is given snowplough escort to rescue his freezing children

PUBLISHED: 16:47 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:38 03 March 2018

Craig Ruggles followed a gritter so he culd reach his family in the snow. Picture: CRAIG RUGGLES

Craig Ruggles followed a gritter so he culd reach his family in the snow. Picture: CRAIG RUGGLES

Craig Ruggles

A worried father was given a snowplough escort along the A140 to rescue his freezing children as the heating broke in their home.

Craig Ruggles followed a gritter so he culd reach his family in the snow. Picture: CRAIG RUGGLESCraig Ruggles followed a gritter so he culd reach his family in the snow. Picture: CRAIG RUGGLES

Craig Ruggles likened the conditions along the road from Long Stratton to Pulham Market to Siberia after he heard news that his children, living with their mother in Harleston, had no heating because of a broken boiler.

Like any father, Mr Ruggles’ natural instinct was to rush to their aid and bring them to warmth and safety, saying: “I had to get them back to my house in Long Stratton by hook or by crook.”

But the snowdrifts along the A140 proved to be more than just an obstacle, as the road became impassable and police urged people to avoid the area.

Mr Ruggles said: “I decided to chance my arm and have a word with the police present in Long Stratton.

“I explained the situation and between them and some local volunteers, they arranged for me to follow a gritter/snowplough along the closed A140 between Long Stratton and Pulham roundabout.

“That three-mile stretch felt like 300 miles. I’ve never seen conditions like it and it was like something out of The Day After Tomorrow.

“I would be following the gritter when a gust would blow snow off the fields across my path and I literally could see nothing in front of me.

“Eventually I made it to Harleston and after some more very frightening moments on the way back, I got them all back to Long Stratton safely. And they spent the night in the warm instead of in the freezing cold!

“I can’t thank the police enough for their understanding and the efforts of the local farmers as well, who were facing a never-ending uphill battle attempting to clear the road.

“I saw it first hand as I was following them up the road - they would plough away an extraordinary amount of snow, but as soon as they had the road was almost instantly covered again by drifting snow.

“It really is the closest thing I think I will ever see that resembles what it might be like to drive through parts of Siberia.”


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