NEWTON, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A North Carolina trooper is credited with saving a woman and child from a burning vehicle involved in a high-speed crash in Catawba County Tuesday, according to the State Highway Patrol.
Authorities said Trooper K.L Huss was on US 321 near mile marker 36 when he clocked a car traveling over 100 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone.
Minutes later, another trooper reportedly saw the same vehicle driving over 130 mph as it weaved through traffic.
Highway Patrol said Trooper Huss attempted to overtake the car near mile marker 40 when he came upon a cloud of dust and debris. The vehicle driver had lost control, ran off the road to the right, crashed through a guardrail, went down an embankment and collided with a tree.
Trooper Huss said the vehicle had also begun to catch on fire. He ran down the embankment and discovered the driver was unconscious and possibly dead.
He also saw a 23-year-old woman and a 5-year-old child screaming for help, troopers said.
Huss freed the child from the car and handed them to a bystander to get to safety. He then crawled into the car, cut the woman free and pulled her into the rear of the car.
As Huss pulled the woman through the back window of the vehicle, the car became fully engulfed in flames.
The trooper was unable to remove the driver, Highway Patrol said.
27-year-old Andre Darrell of Grover, S.C., died at the scene, officials confirmed.
The woman and child were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Troopers said their initial investigation indicated that Darrell may have been attempting to flee due to illegal contraband in the vehicle.