Thomas

RAF Honington personnel save Norfolk father who suffered heart attack at the wheel

Darren Ruck (centre) with his family at RAF Honington , whose personnel were first on scene after Mr Ruck suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his car in June. Picture: Cpl Dave Blackburn/RAF Honington/MOD

Darren Ruck (centre) with his family at RAF Honington , whose personnel were first on scene after Mr Ruck suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his car in June. Picture: Cpl Dave Blackburn/RAF Honington/MOD

© UK MOD Crown Copyright 2020. This image may be used for current news purposes only. It may not be used, reproduced or trans

Military personnel rushed to the aid of a dad who crashed after suffering a heart attack with his wife and young children in the car.

Darren Ruck (centre) with his family at RAF Honington , whose personnel were first on scene after Mr Ruck suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his car in June. Picture: Cpl Dave Blackburn/RAF Honington/MODDarren Ruck (centre) with his family at RAF Honington , whose personnel were first on scene after Mr Ruck suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his car in June. Picture: Cpl Dave Blackburn/RAF Honington/MOD

Darren Ruck, from Barningham, near Thetford, was driving near RAF Honington on Father’s Day, June 21, when he suddenly slumped at the wheel.

Assuming he was playing a practical joke, Mr Ruck’s wife, Marie, asked what he was doing, but the 40-year-old lorry driver did not respond.

When she noticed he was no longer holding the steering wheel, Mrs Ruck knew something was seriously wrong.

Desperate to regain control of the swerving vehicle, the horror-stricken mother grabbed hold of the wheel and steered the family’s truck for more than half a mile before eventually crashing into trees off Green Lane.

“Before the heart attack Darren was absolutely fine,” Mrs Ruck said. “He was chatting away and having a good bit of banter with his brother-in-law.

“After he lost consciousness I managed to keep the truck on the left side of the road, but then the panic hit me and there was a point when I just let go of the wheel.”

Mr Ruck was fortunate that trainee gunners from Honington, aircraftsmen Thomas Allan and Troy Taylor-Morgan, were passing on their way back to base, and they were quick to pull him out of the damaged truck.

The pair were closely followed by Corporal Ed Stanley, whose wife – a nurse – immediately began CPR. She was assisted by Corporals Alexander Bates and Sam Waugh.

This week Mr Ruck and family were reunited with the personnel at RAF Honington, where he thanked them for their life-saving efforts.

Having been taken to Papworth Hospital, Mr Ruck suffered a second heart attack the following morning. He was then moved between Papworth and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which are both in Cambridge, to have stents and a defibrillator fitted, before finally heading home three weeks after the collision.

“I remember nothing about that day,” said Mr Ruck. “There are a couple of bits from the days before, but that’s it. The first thing I remember is waking up in hospital and wondering what was happening.”

Mrs Ruck added: “I couldn’t visit him in hospital because of Covid, so I was just waiting by the phone.

“Now he’s home we keep saying how lucky we are that this didn’t happen when he was on his own.”


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HGV ban welcomed on Angus street serving dual primary school campus

© Dougie Nicolson/DCT MediaTrucks over 7.5 tonnes will be banned from Arbroath's Hayshead Road.
Trucks over 7.5 tonnes will be banned from Arbroath’s Hayshead Road.

HGVs are to be banned from passing a new dual-primary Angus school campus in a long-awaited safety move against rat-run traffic.

A 7.5 tonne weight limit will come into force on Arbroath’s Hayshead Road as part of a scheme which will also see a speed limit cut for all vehicles on what will become the main alternative lorry route.

Bin lorries and trucks serving properties on the street will be exempt from the new restriction.

Hayshead Road is frequently used as a short cut by truckers heading off the A92 Montrose Road – which runs right through the town – to the Cliffburn and Seaton areas, as well as the village of Auchmithie.

The weight limit move was brought in following the February opening of the £14million Abbey View campus which brought together Hayshead and St Thomas RC primaries on the site of the former Hayshead school.

Angus communities convener, Councillor Mark Salmond also brought forward an additional plan which will see the 60 miles per hour limit on Bearfaulds Road, off the A92 and linked to Seaton Road, cut to 40mph.

“I was concerned about the displacement route for lorries which will come in with the weight limit reduction on Hayshead Road because those roads are currently de-regulated to 60,” he said.

“Bearfaulds is the obvious road for lorries to take, past the Meadowbank Inn, and it is a busy road on the main route to Seaton caravan park and Auchmithie.

“This gives us the opportunity to go one step further in improving road safety,” he said.

Arbroath East and Lunan Independent councillor Lois Speed said: “A number of constituents have contacted me and it is vital we listen to our residents.

“Hayshead Road services the new campus and has the potential to be a key active travel route so it is important that we make it as safe as possible for children and all other users.”

A large number of houses have been built on the east side of the town and Ms Speed also plans to press housing developer Stewart Milne to finish a footpath in the area to improve residents’ safety.

Montrose councillor Bill Duff said: “I’ve a slight concern that we are going to be inundated with requests to ban trucks from here, there and everywhere.

“We are going to get a number of random requests and I would have thought there may have been some merit in having these filtered through our road safety member/officer group.”

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