State trooper rushes into burning car to save woman

A Missouri police officer pulled a woman from her vehicle moments before it went up in flames last week. Missouri Highway Patrol trooper Jim Thuss was chasing a fleeing driver on February 2 when the crash occurred, the Kansas City Star reported. Thuss spotted a 2002 Cadillac DeVille going 68 in a 50-mile-per-hour zone moments before the crash. After Thuss hit his lights the driver in the Cadillac ran, pushing 101 miles per hour before the driver ran a red light and smashed into a Honda Civic driven by Becky Crawford. Thuss a 19-year veteran of the force, saw the collision and ran to the passenger side of her vehicle.

"It was a pretty spectacular impact," Thuss said. "There was an instant fireball towards the back of the vehicle and a big plume of smoke after that. I didn't bother trying the driver's side because of the impact being there and then also the fire." When Thuss made it inside the vehicle Crawford was stunned, but conscious.

Thuss climbed inside and found Crawford dazed and moaning. "I got her out of her seat belt and pulled her across the console and out of the vehicle and eventually up the hill," Thuss said. An off-duty officer from a nearby police department helped Thuss pull the woman from her vehicle. Crawford suffered serious injuries, according to the Kansas Star. She will spend time in a rehabilitation facility once she is released from the hospital. The driver of the Cadillac was seen dumping white powder from the vehicle. He was charged with resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident and may be charged with possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated.

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