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Road crew rescues family

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DICKINSON, N.D. - While many people hunkered down safely in their homes during a blizzard that paralyzed the area Sunday evening, a Hebron couple and a young girl spent what may have been the longest night of their lives in their vehicles.

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Amy Urlacher of Hebron called 911 at about 10:45 Sunday night. She kept a calm demeanor as she talked to authorities and explained her situation. Her Ford Taurus got stuck in the snow when she went to get her boyfriend Jeff Jordan and her daughter who were stranded in a vehicle a few miles away.

"I was actually going to see if I could go get them," Urlacher, who is about seven months pregnant, said during her call to 911. She said she got stranded after leaving Hebron.

The two cars were stuck on Highway 10 for nearly 12 hours before Stark County road crew members took them to safety Monday morning. It took crews more than an hour to plow their way to the vehicles from Richardton.

"I'll tell you what, that little girl was happy to see her mom," said Todd Miller, Richardton road foreman, who was one of three crew members to take the family home. "That little girl was a little trooper."

Stark County Deputy Kiel Richardson responded to the 911 call and set out to try to rescue the family Sunday evening. He made it east of Gladstone before getting stuck.

Four Stark County road crew members stayed Sunday night at the Stark County shop in case something like this happened. They spent three hours getting to Richardson.

Stark County Road Superintendent Al Heiser and Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said the crew was instructed to return to Dickinson, because it was too dangerous to try to get to the family.

"At night, it's pretty tough to plow snow and try to get to them," Miller said. "I would think it was best to do it that way and it worked out great this way."

Rather than turning it into an even riskier situation by trying to get plows to the family, they waited until morning.

Tuhy said nobody was injured and the girl and couple kept warm, adding they had enough gas to last the night.

"He (Jordan) was surprised that we came out just for them," Miller said. "He thought we were just plowing the road open and we said, 'no we're here to get you.'"

Lincoln and Miller said they have been on rescue missions before, but Monday morning's was especially rewarding.

"Every time I tell this story to people I get tears in my eyes," Miller said. "That was one of the best ones (rescues) that I've ever been on."

Urlacher and Jordan could not be reached for comment.

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