On February 10, 2016 the Missouri Highway Patrol released video footage from the dash cam of Trooper Jim Thuss showing the dramatic rescue he and an Off Duty Deputy Sheriff performed in Cass County last week.
While on routine patrol in Cass County Trooper Thuss observed a Cadillac DeVille traveling 68 mph in a 50 mph zone on Missouri D just north of Missouri 58 near Belton.
The Trooper turned and attempted to stop the speeding vehicle but when he turned the violator speed up to a speed exceeding 100 M.P.H. trying to avoid being stopped.
Trooper Thuss was quoted as saying “I turned my lights on to initiate a traffic stop, and when I turned around I could tell he was really moving along at that time, I checked his speed again at 101.”
As the Cadillac approached an upcoming intersection other traffic had stopped at a red light. The Cadillac went around vehicles in the turn lane, ran the red light and smashed into another car.
That vehicle was operated by Becky Crawford, 60, and the impact caused an immediate fire upon collision. Trooper Thuss witnessed a large plume of smoke and debris as he pulled up on the scene of the accident and his dash camera caught his immediate response to extricate Crawford from the vehicle that was aflame.
Trooper Thuss can be seen running to the vehicle and removing the injured woman from the burning vehicle along with another man who was an Off Duty Johnson County Deputy Sheriff. The two Law Enforcement Officers used a fireman’s carry to bring the woman up the nearby hill to safety away from the vehicle which was quickly engulfed in flames.
The driver of the Cadillac fled the scene but was later arrested and charged and has further charges pending including narcotics charges that may be presented in conjunction with his fleeing Trooper Thuss.
Crawford suffered serious injuries in the accident but is expected to be released from the hospital into a rehabilitation facility soon. Her husband Ron credits her survival to the quick actions taken by Trooper Thuss.
Thuss stated “I did what I was supposed to do,” Thuss said. “I was there because of the individual I was trying to stop. Honestly, I didn’t really think much about it. I just knew I had to get her out of the vehicle before it went up.”