Really grateful - Woman names son after Arizona DPS trooper who saved her life

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Really grateful': Woman names son after Arizona DPS trooper who saved her life

Fox 10 Phoenix

PHOENIXA woman and an Arizona Dept. of Public Safety trooper had a heartwarming reunion on Thursday after her life was saved during a bad crash five years ago.

Samantha Parada had been searching for the man who saved her life, but she had lost her memory after the collision and didn't have all the details. She went to DPS while she was in Phoenix for Christmas, and they found him. 

Dec. 29 was the first time they talked on the phone, and on Thursday, she finally met with Trooper Christian Casillas.

"It was all through the phone call that I found out, and I immediately started crying once I hung up the phone," Casillas said. "It was pretty touching."

The accident happened back in 2012 on the Loop 202 freeway and 32nd Street. Casillas says Parada's car fell off the ramp, landing on its roof and eventually catching on fire.

Luckily, the trooper was around the corner and got her to safety with the help of firefighters.

Parada suffered from memory loss, rib fractures and other injuries as a result, but she survived and attributes it all to Trooper Casillas.

"I am really grateful something like that happened, and I was able to make an impact in her life at the time," Casillas said. "Within [the] last years of my career, I never thought I would do that to somebody."

Because of this second chance, she was able to become a mom, and that's why she named her son after her savior. Young Christian was able to meet his namesake during their reunion.

"I wanted to tell him everything in person," said Parada. "I wanted to tell him how grateful I am, him saving my life, him giving me a second chance, giving me the opportunity to be a mom…it was a beautiful moment in my life."

DPS officials say this kind of event almost never happens, so it meant a lot to them to meet Samantha.

As for Samantha and Christian, they say they will be staying in touch.

"I owe him my life," Parada said. "I don't know how to thank him enough."


Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgage on the home of a fallen Massachusetts State Police trooper

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The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgage on the home of a fallen Massachusetts State Police trooper.

Trooper Thomas Clardy, 44, died on March 16, 2016, when his cruiser was struck by an impaired driver on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton.

The impact of the crash killed the married father of six children.

Clardy was an 11-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police and served in the United States Marine Corps and Army.

Clardy is survived by his wife, Reisa, and children, Tyler, Lily, Gabryella, Emma, Eva, and Noah.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation supports first responders, veterans and their families across the U.S.

The organization has paid the mortgages of nearly 450 homes of fallen service members and first responders.

Tunnel to Towers pays off mortgage for fallen Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy's family (


AZDPS Looking for Troopers - Officers


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AZDPS Looking for Troopers – Officers

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is currently hiring Cadet and Lateral State Troopers for assignment throughout the State.  Lateral State Troopers have the opportunity to be stationed where they currently reside and motor officers can lateral into the Motor District upon successful completion of field training.  As a State Trooper, there are opportunities to work anywhere in the State in a variety of positions.  The Arizona Department of Public Safety not only patrols Arizona’s highways but also has specialty units such as Vehicle Theft Investigations, Gang Enforcement, Special Investigations, Governor's and Executive Security, Financial Crimes, ACTIC, SWAT, and EOD.

Cadet State Troopers *$56,041.44 - $64,118.08 

State Trooper *$65,382.72 - $91,601.12** 

*Eligible for the recruitment incentive program

**Salary includes 15% Critical Services Premium Pay effective through June 24, 2022

If you are looking for an exciting career with excellent benefits and pay, visit


Highway 55 renamed Sgt. David R. Gibbs Memorial Highway for fallen trooper

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Highway 55 renamed ‘Sgt. David R. Gibbs Memorial Highway’ for fallen trooper

By Steve Rogers

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet unveiled new signage renaming a portion of Kentucky Highway 55 in Taylor County in honor of KSP Sgt. David R. Gibbs, who was involved in a fatal crash in 2015, while on duty.

KSP was joined by Sergeant Gibbs’ family, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Deputy Secretary Ronnie Bastin and KYTC Chief District Engineer for the Department of Highways, Paul Sanders.

During the roadway dedication, KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. thanked Sgt. Gibbs and his family for serving the commonwealth.

“Sgt. Gibbs spent most of his seventeen years of service at Post 15 Columbia, except for six months at Post 12 Frankfort when he promoted to sergeant in 2006. He loved being a trooper and he loved serving the people of this community on a daily basis.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet facilitated the official renaming project and provided new signage on Kentucky Highway 55. Chief District Engineer Paul Sanders attended the ceremony and spoke on behalf of Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray, when he said the Cabinet is honored to recognize Sergeant Gibbs’ service and sacrifice with this signage.

“We hope this action today of naming Kentucky Highway 55 in his honor will leave a continuous reminder to his dedication to public safety in the community that he cared so much for,” said Sanders.

As a longtime law enforcement leader in Kentucky, Ronnie Bastin, Deputy Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, spoke at the ceremony stating that he understands first-hand that losing a colleague is never easy, and it is especially difficult when their life is taken while on duty.

“No job was taken lightly and Sgt. Gibbs was always determined to provide that selfless sacrifice that is engrained in so many law enforcement officers,” said Deputy Secretary Bastin. “Sgt. Gibbs, like many of his KSP colleagues, left home knowing he might not return but  his work would not be done in vain. The loss of Sgt. Gibbs has left a void in this state, community and agency.”

KSP Sergeant Adam Likins, one of Gibbs’ closest friends, spoke on behalf of the Gibbs family at the ceremony.

“Everyone who knew David, loved him,” said Likins. “His smile and his kindness were known by everyone. He loved his friends and his family but most of all he loved being a Kentucky State Police Trooper.”

The Gibbs family assisted officials with unveiling the official highway sign during the ceremony, which was held at Swan’s Landing in Campbellsville, Ky.


PA State Police graduates 59

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Pennsylvania State Police Welcomes 59 New Troopers

Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, announced today that 59 cadets graduated from the State Police Academy in Hershey and have been assigned to troops across the commonwealth. The men and women represent the 162nd graduating cadet class.

The ceremony returned to the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Harrisburg for the first time since December 2019 in front of a limited amount of family members. Cadet Matthew J. Condrad spoke on behalf of the graduating class. The ceremony was live streamed on the academy Facebook pageOpens In A New Window and YouTube channelOpens In A New Window.

"All of the men and women we celebrated today obtained the most important rank, the rank of Trooper," said Colonel Evanchick. "The long-standing tradition of providing the finest police services throughout the commonwealth is now bestowed upon them. May they all uphold the service, integrity, respect, trust, courage, and duty of the force."

Five cadets received special awards and recognition:

  • The American Legion Award, presented to the most outstanding cadet in recognition of all-around academic, physical, ethical, and moral qualifications: Matthew J. Condrad
  • The Colonel Ronald M. Sharpe Award, presented to the cadet who most exemplifies the qualities of leadership: Jeremy J. Seabridge
  • The Colonel John K. Schafer Award, presented to the cadet who achieved the highest combined score on a series of physical skills tests: Timothy J. Shields
  • The Commissioner Daniel F. Dunn Award, presented to the cadet who earned the highest level of academic achievement in the class: Melvin L. Eby III
  • The Colonel Paul J. Chylak Award, presented to the cadet who demonstrated the highest proficiency in driver safety training: Christopher A. Cashin
  • The Sergeant Charles B. Gesford Award, presented to the cadet who scored the highest on the department's pistol qualification course: Matthew J. Condrad

The graduates have been assigned to the following stations:

Troop A, Greensburg
Joseph V. Churner

Troop B, Belle Vernon
Jessica M. Bishop
Matthew V. Ferraro
Cody R. Stemrich
Jason M. Stover
Ally N. Wilson

Troop B, Uniontown
Brian F. Beauchemin
Shane T. Dorner
Gabriel B. Gresko
Christopher R. Keffer
Joshua Keiper
John W. Lance
Joshua E. Pavlosky
James A. Pierce II
Jacob D. Richards
Jeffrey J. Schlasta

Troop B, Pittsburgh
William O. Alua
Nathan D. Bartel

Troop B, Waynesburg
Chase W. Colucci
Cody H. Karaman

Troop C, Lewis Run
Brandon J. Long
Kevin M. Shaffer

Troop C, Punxsutawney
Alexis J. Stitt
Alexander S. Watters

Troop C, Ridgway
Brandt M. Beck

Troop D, Kittanning
Christian M. Kovach
Erica Nearhoof
Darryl G. Webb Jr.

Troop E, Corry
Dane S. Barker

Troop E, Erie
Matthew R. Wier

Troop E, Girard
Trevor J. Gallo
Ryan M. Northcott

Troop F, Coudersport
Melvin L. Eby III
Bryce A. Reichenbach

Troop F, Stonington
Jeffrey A. Brown

Troop H, Chambersburg
Shane E. Clark
Morgan E. Kaschak
Gregory J. Monaghan
Timothy J. Shields

Troop H, Harrisburg
Matthew J. Condrad
Michael T. Frick

Troop J, Avondale
Jeffrey F. Beach
Christopher A. Cashin

Troop J, Lancaster 
George F. Puma

Troop J, York
Alecia I. Rohrer

Troop K, Philadelphia
Nathanael Fre
Nicholas T. Fusco
Lucas P. Metzger
Anthony J. Pickens
Andrew Tsai

Troop K, Skippack
Rebecca L. Lengvarsky
Kole S. Rodrigues

Troop P, Laporte
Brad M. Kalinowski
Jeremy J. Seabridge

Troop P, Towanda
Brett M. Cohen
Alexander K. Gushka
Craig P. Kalinoski Jr.
Steven S. Marianelli
Matthew J. Mondak


UT State trooper rescues owl hit by truck on I-215


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UT State trooper rescues owl hit by truck on I-215


SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A member of the Utah Highway Patrol is being credited for going above and beyond to help an owl that was hit by a truck on Interstate 215 over the weekend.

Authorities said UHP Cpl. Cole located the owl Saturday night after it had been hit by an F-250 that was driving in the area.

Cope rescued the owl, gave him a name — Owlpacino — and took care of him for the night.

The next day, Cope loaded the owl into his cruiser and made the trip to take Owlpacino to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden.

The center has treated over 31,000 animals since 2009, giving many a second chance at life in the wild.

“We hope Owlpacino makes a full recovery!” the UHP posted on Facebook.


42 cadets to graduate Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy

42 cadets to graduate Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy

42 cadets to graduate Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy
by: K. Querry-Thompson/KFOR

Posted: Dec 3, 2021 / 08:59 AM CST / Updated: Dec 3, 2021 / 08:59 AM CST
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is gaining 42 new cadets who are graduating from the 67th Academy on Friday.
The academy started with 65 potential cadets on July 28.
They underwent 18 weeks of intense training on traffic and criminal law, arrest procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid, and Spanish.
They also received training in use of force, communication skills and de-escalation tactics, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, and physical fitness.
“We are extremely proud of these forty-two cadets graduating from our Academy,” said Chief of the Patrol Patrick F. Mays. “After graduation, they enter their field training and will be dispersed throughout the state, ready to serve and protect our citizens.”
Officials say there are three legacies graduating from the academy who all have fathers who are retired troopers.
Following Friday’s graduation ceremony, cadets will enter the ‘break-in’ phase of their training. They will ride with another trooper for 13 weeks before going out on their own.


NY State Police release footage of trooper saving choking two-year-old

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NY State Police release footage of trooper saving choking two-year-old

A New York State Police trooper said he was in the “right place at the right time” after saving a choking toddler's life late last month.

Trooper David Draudt usually patrols out of the Binghamton barracks but on Nov. 29 he was assisting in the Endwell area when there was an emergency call for a 2-year-old boy who was choking, not breathing and unresponsive.

Patrolling nearby when the 11:45 a.m. call went out, Draudt was the first emergency responder to arrive at the scene.

With his body camera recording everything that happened, Draudt slipped into gloves while the toddler’s grandmother gestured from the front door window for him to come into the house.

Draudt was told by the 2-year-old's mother that he was new to dry foods. He was choking on a pancake and had stopped breathing.

Body camera footage shows Draudt remaining calm, even after his initial attempt to open an air passage for the child does not work.

“My first step was to try clearing the airway with my finger but his jaw was locked closed,” Draudt said in voice over to New York State Police body camera footage released on social media.

“So then I began giving the back blows until I could hear him start to breathe again. At least I knew what I was doing was working. After that, I was able to sweep whatever was left of the pancake in his mouth out of his mouth.”

The rescue has left a Broome County mother thankful that she has her son.

“The mother is very happy that (the child) is able to be home with them because of Trooper Draudt’s actions,” said New York State Police Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer.

Dembinska said it is not unusual for troopers to be the first on the scene of an emergency, making their training especially important.

A Western New York native, Draudt joined the State Police in September 2019.

“I am just happy I was at the right place at the right time and I was basically able to go in there and make it happen,” he said.


Foundation pays off mortgage for the families of five fallen officers, including Virginia State Police Trooper

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Foundation pays off mortgage for the families of five fallen officers, including Virginia State Police Trooper

VIRGINIA- According to reports, to honor the memory of the service members and civilians who were killed during the December 11, 1941 attacked on Pearl Harbor, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation paid off the mortgages on the homes of five fallen first responders who also served their country, including Virginia State Police Trooper Chad Dermyer. 

Dermyer was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2016 while speaking to a suspicious person inside a Richmond Greyhound bus terminal. Dermyer was also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, serving his country for four years. Chad’s wife, Michelle Dermyer, said in a statement:

“It is hard to find the words to describe how blessed our family feels to have our mortgage paid off.

What an amazing way for the Siller family to honor Stephen and continue his legacy, by blessing so many first responders and Gold Star families. We will be forever grateful for this life-changing gift.”

Dermyer was fatally shot inside Richmond’s Greyhound bus terminal during an encounter with 34-year-old James Brown II of Aurora, Illinois, who pulled out a handgun and opened fired on Dermyer moments after the trooper approached him on March 31, 2016. 

Dermyer left behind his wife, Michelle and two children. Before his career in law enforcement, Dermyer served four years with the U.S. Marine Corps as a machine gunner. 


Hunter with severe hypothermia rescued by Alabama trooper

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Hunter with severe hypothermia rescued by Alabama trooper

UNION SPRINGS, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama state trooper is being credited with saving the life of a missing hunter.

Trooper Charles May found the man on January 22 suffering from severe hypothermia, gave the man his clothes and then carried him about 100 yards (91 meters) out of the woods, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said on Facebook on Thursday.

Paramedics later determined the man might not have survived another hour in the cold conditions.

May, with the Opelika Highway Patrol, had received a request for help from the Bullock County Sheriff’s Office. The hunter was swept away when a beaver dam broke and had been missing since the previous day.

May contacted someone with a boat and was searching in the woods when he heard a faint cry for help. The man was lying on the ground and said he could not feel his legs, according to the ALEA Facebook post.

May, believing the hunter was suffering from hypothermia, replaced the man’s wet clothes with his clothes.

After carrying him out of the woods, he placed the man in his patrol vehicle and contacted a sheriff’s sergeant to have an ambulance meet them at a nearby intersection. The man’s identity was not released.


NSP welcomes 13 new troopers to force

NSP welcomes 13 new troopers to force

NSP welcomes 13 new troopers to force

By 6 News Staff reports

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 5:08 PM EST

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Nebraska State Patrol announced Friday that 13 troopers received their badge of office and will begin service.

Officials report NSP Camp 65, featuring four women and nine men, has completed 22 weeks of intense training. They received their badges Friday and will begin their careers serving in various areas of Nebraska:

  • Trooper Brady Wallace #182 — Scottsbluff
  • Trooper Griffin Vater #443 — Beatrice
  • Trooper Mara Tighe #421 — Columbus
  • Trooper Jaquelline Rivas #442 — Grand Island
  • Trooper Philip Parish #428 — North Platte
  • Trooper Logan Miller #386 — Broken Bow
  • Trooper Colton Kirkendall #368 — Beatrice
  • Trooper Regan Holst #358 — Beatrice
  • Trooper Sarah Evans #186 — Omaha
  • Trooper Ryan Edmondson #111 — Nebraska City
  • Trooper Dylan Duhsmann #17 — Columbus
  • Trooper Michael Blazek #11 — Beatrice
  • Trooper Moamal Ali #229 — Kearney

“Every graduation marks a milestone, not only for our new troopers, but for our entire agency,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “These new troopers join a proud history of dedication to public service that is on display every day across Nebraska. They are well trained and eager to serve. We are proud to have them join our team.”

The Nebraska State Patrol posted a video on their Facebook page of NSP Camp 65′s graduation.

Gov. Pete Ricketts had the opportunity to speak at the graduation ceremony Friday, he said, “I can’t think of a more noble calling than serving the people of Nebraska, this great state. You are joining the premiere law enforcement organization in the state of Nebraska and you have just attended an academy that is one of the most rigorous in the nation, and you’ve succeeded. You should be very proud of those accomplishments.”


Massachusetts State Police mourn death of department's longest-serving trooper

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Massachusetts State Police mourn death of department's longest-serving trooper

Massachusetts State Police is mourning the loss of the department's longest-serving active-duty trooper.

Trooper Robert Whittier served the department for 47 years. He was a graduate of the 59th Recruit Training Troop and was assigned to several barracks before joining the Motorcycle Unit in 1992.

Earlier this month, Whittier was presented with badge No. 1 to recognize his service and status as the senior most trooper in Massachusetts.

He died Friday morning.

"Across all the decades, at events and incidents large and small, Trooper Whittier provided dedicated and exceptional service to our state and its people," 

police wrote in a statement posted to social media.


TN Trooper Dies

TN Trooper Dies

By Paige Hill

Published: Jan. 30, 2022 at 1:17 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2022 at 5:01 PM EST

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced the loss of of one its beloved Greene County troopers.

Trooper Vince Mullins, 54, passed away Friday morning at Johnson City Medical Center, his obituary confirmed. While serving for THP, he was assigned to the Greene County Scales Complex in the Fall Branch District.

A veteran who served in the US Army for over six years, was a proud state trooper who won Trooper of the Year in both 2013 and 2016. In his free time, Trooper Mullins enjoyed spending time with his family and dogs, named Sophie, Copper, Luna and Rook.

The devoted husband, son, father, and grandfather loved working on cars and riding motorcycles with his dad and wife.

“Please keep his family, friends, & fellow Troopers in your thoughts and prayers,” THP Fall Branch wrote. “Trooper Mullins had the biggest smile and superior knowledge in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.”

Several other agencies and officials shared their condolences online following the news.

“May God bless and keep us safe until we meet again,” THP Knoxville tweeted.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Trooper Mullins and his fellow Troopers at THP,” Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office wrote.

“He was known for his tenacity to keep the roads safe putting drunk drivers in jail,” Greene County Circuit Court Clerk Chris Shepard posted to Facebook. “Who knows, he may have saved one of our lives by getting an impaired driver off the road one of those nights.”

The Mullins family are set to receive friends from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday at Doughty-Stevens Funeral Home. The funeral home has asked all who plan to join the procession to arrive at 10:00 a.m.


81st Indiana State Police Recruit Academy Graduates

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Mon, 12/06/2021 - 12:51am by laughingcat

On December 2, 2021, the 81st Indiana State Police Recruit Academy completed its graduation ceremony in the Indiana State Capitol Rotunda. Opening remarks were made by Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter followed by a commencement address from Governor Eric Holcomb.

After the commencement address, the oath of office for the 29 new State Police officers was delivered by The Honorable Justice Christopher M. Goff, of the Indiana Supreme Court. Each new trooper was then presented their badge and official identification by Superintendent Carter and his staff.

Today’s graduation marked the culmination of 25 weeks of intense training which totaled nearly 1,100 hours. Some subject areas of training included criminal and traffic law, de-escalation, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, firearms, impaired driving detection, scenario-based training, and a host of other academic subjects related to modern policing.

Each graduating trooper will be assigned to one of 14 State Police Posts across Indiana. Once at their assigned district, the new troopers will spend the next three months working side by side with a series of experienced Field Training Officers. The purpose of the field training is to put to practical application the training received throughout the formal academy training. Upon successful completion of field training, the new troopers will be assigned a state police patrol vehicle and will begin solo patrol in their assigned district.


NC Trooper hailed a hero after pulling woman, boy from burning car - WSOC TV

NC Trooper hailed a hero after pulling woman, boy from burning car - WSOC TV

November 24, 2021 at 5:41 pm ESTBy Dave Faherty,

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper is being called a hero after he pulled a mother and a 5-year-old boy from a burning car following a deadly crash in Catawba County on Tuesday night.

The wreck happened along Highway 321 near the River Road Exit, south of Hickory, at about 5:50 p.m.

According to the Highway Patrol, Trooper K.L. Huss clocked a Dodge Charger heading northbound on Highway 321 speeding faster than 100 mph in a 65 mph zone. Moments later, another trooper saw the same Charger going faster than 130 mph and weaving through traffic.

Trooper Huss tried to catch up to the Charger and came upon a large cloud of dust and debris and realized the car had crashed. Investigators said the Charger went through a guardrail and down a steep embankment and hit a tree before catching fire. Huss wasn’t close enough to see the crash.

The Highway Patrol said Trooper Huss found the driver, identified as 27-year-old Andre Darrell Lee of Grover, South Carolina, unconscious. Huss then found a child and a woman in the wreckage screaming for help. Huss was able to free the boy, who was in a booster seat, from the car and handed him to a bystander.

As the car was smoking and the flames were beginning to spread, authorities said Huss crawled back into the vehicle and was able to cut the woman free from her seatbelt and pulled her through the back window to safety.

Shortly after getting her out of the car, the Charger was engulfed in flames.

Lee did not survive.

“In this day and age, it was heroic,” Sgt. Matt Futrell said. “He didn’t even think of his own safety, his well-being. (He) immediately put that aside and did what we all, in this profession, do. We have an oath, we serve and protect, and that’s what he did.”

The 5-year-old boy and 23-year-old woman, both from Grover, South Carolina also, were taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center but will be OK, troopers said. The child was later transferred to Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem for observation.

Investigators think Lee may have been trying to flee “due to illegal contraband in the vehicle.”

Derek Papesh was on his way home from work when he saw the car blow by him on Highway 321 and then moments later spotted the crash scene.

“I could hear some people yelling for help,” Papesh said. “The trooper had gotten the child out.”

Papesh says he tried to help Huss rescue the woman and the boy. Channel 9 also spoke with a woman who cared for the little boy as flames began to spread across the car.

“He got the woman out but as he was bringing her up the hill, the car caught fire and blew up,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the trooper being as quick as he was, I don’t think anybody would have made it.”

Papesh believes Trooper Huss is a hero for risking his own life to save others he didn’t know.

“After I wrote a statement, he did say ‘thank you’ and shook my hand, but he was truly the hero of the night because without what he did, those people could have died,” Papesh said.

The crash remains under investigation.

‘It was heroic’: Trooper pulls mother, son from burning car after deadly wreck – WSOC TV