Daughter pays tribute to '˜loving father' lorry driver who died in A27 crash

THE daughter of a lorry driver killed in a crash on the A27 has paid tribute to her '˜loving father'.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 7:37 am
Chris Rudling and his daughter Poppy Chatfield on her wedding day Picture: Ray Willcox

Chris Rudling, 60, from Waterlooville, has been named by his family as the driver who died on Monday.

His heartbroken daughter Poppy Chatfield, 25, told The News her father will be ‘missed dearly’ after the tragic crash.

Poppy said: ‘He was a loving father and grandad.

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Chris Rudling, 60, of Waterlooville. pictured with his daughter Poppy Chatfield, left, and his stepdaughter Hayley Willis

‘He adored his children, Poppy and Joe and his step-children Hayley and Josh, but even more his grandson Oakley, who turned two on New Year’s Eve.

‘He was 60 years old and worked hard all his life, always putting his family first. He’ll be missed dearly.’

Poppy said that he also loved riding his motorbike and reading Stephen King books.

Mr Rudling worked at Veolia before recently moving to drive for Inert Recycling, based in Eastleigh.

Chris Rudling, 60, of Waterlooville. pictured with his daughter Poppy Chatfield, left, and his stepdaughter Hayley Willis

He died after the lorry he was driving, travelling west between Chichester and Emsworth, crashed into the central reservation and ended up in the eastbound carriageway. It happened near Hambrook Hill near Emsworth at 4.15pm.

Former work colleague and friend Jamie Milburn, 41, said Mr Rudling had the humour to bring light to the darkest situations and he was tragically needed now.

‘He was a top bloke, a friend and confidant to many people and absolutely open,’ Mr Milburn said.

‘He adored his family, he spoke very, very highly of them. He was a great friend.

‘He could make humour in any situation.

‘In the darkest time he could come up with things to make it lighter for you – we could do with it now.

‘This was completely out of the blue and that’s the hardest thing to come to terms with.

‘I spoke to him a little while ago and now I can’t anymore, it’s really hurtful.

‘He was a great guy, just so easy going, always cheerful. I never saw him down.

‘He was very unique, completely a unique character, you’ll never meet another Chris Rudling but by Christ we could do with more Chris Rudlings in this world.’

Sussex police are investigating the crash. Email [email protected]