PHOENIX - Two good Samaritans are speaking out after saving the life of a Arizona Dept. of Public Safety trooper after a deadly crash near Wickenburg left him trapped inside of a burning patrol car.
The collision on Highway 93 on April 30 killed two people and injured five others.
The trooper was escorting a family afraid they would run out of gas on the way to Wickenburg. But no one knew they were on a collision course with a speeding driving weaving in and out of traffic.
SkyFOX video taken that night showed DPS trooper Casey Rhinehart being rushed inside the hospital, minutes after being pulled from a burning patrol car.
"I could hear somebody screaming for help." said bystander Carolee. "I didn’t know who was who he was at the time...so I went to him."
Carolee jumped out of her car and had heard the trooper's calls for help. Rhinehart was stuck in his car with flames growing by the second.
Her instincts as a medical professional and mother kicked in.
"I put my hands on the top of the door and my foot on the side of the car, and I pulled the door back enough to where I could reach in and help him down," Carolee said.
Rusty Christiansen, another witness, drove up on the crash and helped pull the trooper to safety. He noticed Trooper Rhinehart controlling the scene while injured and on the ground.
"I know he was in a lot of pain but he still ran that scene in this condition," Christiansen said. "Mad respect for him."
Officer Rhinehart has since been released from the hospital. Four others were injured that night, and two died at the scene.
"People lost their lives, and people's lives are changed forever," Carolee said. "And it just didn’t need to happen."
DPS says a 23-year-old Chandler woman who caused the crash - died at the scene, along with a wife and mother from the original SUV that was running low on gas.
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