WSP honors Heroes in fiery Snoqualmie crash, good samaritans who aided trooper near Truck Town

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) presented Lifesaving Awards and Certificates of Commendation to law enforcement personnel and citizens involved in two Snoqualmie Valley incidents.

The Lifesaving Award revolved around a scary accident familiar to many Snoqualmie Valley residents – a fiery crash at the I-90/SR 18 interchange last summer that luckily had a good outcome.

Sergeant JD Smith of the Seattle Police Department and Mr. Mike Brennan were honored for their heroics on July 18, 2016 when a collision occurred eastbound on I-90 at the SR 18 interchange – one that resulted in a vehicle immediately bursting into flames.

The driver was unconscious and bleeding inside the burning car when Sergeant Smith – off duty and with no special equipment available – ran right to the vehicle, pried open the door and pulled the female driver out.

Sgt. Smith sustained burns to his arms, hands and had difficulty breathing due to the heavy smoke. Mr. Brennan arrived and helped Smith carry the driver away from the burning vehicle. 

WSP said the without out the immediate actions of these two individuals, the outcome would have been very tragic.

WSP Chief Batiste presented Seattle PD Officer Smith lifesaving award. Ms. Karley was pulled from her burning car. Photo: WSP

Commendation for Trooper Assistance near Truck Town

A Certificate of Commendation was also presented to Detective Rich Newell (Bellevue PD), Albert Williams, Daniel Kettner, Nathan Fleming and James Hoole (Retired San Diego PD) for providing assistance to WSP Trooper Brad Olsen during an altercation that happened near Truck Town in mid April.

According to WSP, on April 16th Trooper Olson was in a serious altercation with a driver whom he had stopped. The driver repeatedly tried to grab Olsen’s weapon, with multiple Taser deployments proving unsuccessful.

Per a WSP press release, “These caring and courageous citizens stopped and assisted Trooper Olsen in getting the individual into custody.” 

BPD Detective Newell arrived near the end of the altercation and took control of the scene, including dealing with an unruly passenger in the suspect’s vehicle who had been yelling throughout the incident – and gathering witness information until backup units arrived. 

WSP said it is truly grateful for the caring and willingness of these individuals to come to the rescue of a trooper in need.

Trooper Olsen with the men who provided him assistance on April 16, 2017.

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