WSP: State trooper risks own life to pull driver from burning wreckage

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington State Patrol trooper Darin Fehlhafer put "his own life at risk" to pull the driver out of a burning, crashed car on I-90 near Cle Elum, the WSP said Thursday.

The driver he saved -- later identified as Chase C. Sukert -- was out on bail from an arrest in October 2015 from an incident involving a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper, the State Patrol said.

Fehlhafer observed the black 1997 Mercedes driving erratically in the eastbound lanes of I-90.  Fehlhafer attempted to overtake the vehicle, which was driving 122 mph, the State Patrol said. The driver attempted to exit I-90 onto Golf Course Road at exit 78 when he lost control, rotated and struck a parked semi on the right shoulder of the exit ramp.

A fire erupted from the collision as Fehlhafer arrived on scene.

"Putting his own life at risk, Trooper Fehlhafer quickly took action to save the severely injured driver of the Mercedes.  As the fire continued to grow, Trooper Fehlhafer was able to remove the driver from the vehicle and pull him to safety.  The driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to be treated for his injuries," the WSP said in a news release.