Snow joke for officers policing winter weather

A FRONTLINE officer has highlighted the “selfless dedication to duty” of a group of officers who helped deal with collisions and trapped passengers during a snowstorm on the Woodhead Pass.

A three-inch-deep drift of snow caused eight cars to come off the A629, including one car that barrel-rolled into a field, and on the A628 Woodhead Pass a 44-tonne wagon jack-knifed going uphill, after high winds and snow caused the driver to lose control and demolish a wall.

As the snow began to fall more heavily, cars began getting stuck in the snow. One South Yorkshire Police officer, who has asked to remain anonymous, has recalled the hazards of working in the Pennines during such severe weather.

“I found five vehicles all stuck with people inside in zero visibility and unable to move. I spent the next 15 minutes dragging a Mazda MX5 back onto the road and making sure that everyone was safe,” he explained.

Officers were called upon to help dig out cars and help passengers, including children, who had become trapped in cars during the incident on 25 January.

A number of police officers walked around a mile in knee-deep snow and the pitch black to help dig out several vehicles, including two police 4x4s that were needed to assist elsewhere.

Officers helped to take people away from the scene and to a nearby pub and hotel.

“The weather was the worst that I have seen on the Woodhead,” said the officer. “It was a total white out, with temperatures well below freezing before the snow started. The wind was blowing it horizontal to the point that when you opened your car door it covered the inside of the windscreen.

“This showed the selfless dedication to duty of all the officers involved.”

He praised members of the public for “going above and beyond” what they needed to do and officers for their “selfless dedication to duty” in what he believed could have otherwise been “quite a nasty incident”.

“It may be a thin blue line and getting thinner, but there are still officers out there going beyond what is asked of them despite what we are going through at the minute,” he said.