Heart-pounding close call on I-405 as suspected DUI driver nails 2 cop cars

KOMO photo

RENTON, Wash. - Two King County sheriff's deputies barely escaped with their lives Thursday morning when a suspected DUI driver crashed into their patrol cars at freeway speed as they were standing outside them along the shoulder of Interstate 405.

The deputies had to scramble to get out of the way as the driver slammed into their squad cars, launching one of them into the air and missing the deputies by only a matter of inches.

The heart-pounding incident unfolded at about 1:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-405 near Highway 167 in Renton, officials said.

The deputies had just wrapped up a traffic stop and were standing in the shoulder between their two patrol cars when another car came barreling toward them at full speed.

One of the deputies, Sgt. Patrick McCurdy, tells KOMO News what happened next:

"I yelled and I grabbed hold of Sgt. Hall and tried to pull him out of the way," he says. "And that car rear-ended the back of his patrol car, which launched his patrol car into the air within six inches of us. And his patrol car hit the back of my patrol car, and I think they were moved about 15 feet forward."

Sgt. Hall said if had not been for Sgt. McCurdy seeing the vehicle and taking quick action, they would have been sandwiched between the two vehicles, struck and severely injured, if not killed.

"Pat yelled and grabbed me, and I heard screeching tires and I grabbed him and we started moving toward the jersey wall," says Sgt. Hall. "The driver struck the back of my car, launched my car and missed us by just six inches or so."

The driver that hit their patrol cars, a man in his 20s, sustained minor injuries in the crash and was taken to Valley Medical Center. He was arrested and will be tested for possible DUI.

The original car that was pulled over for a traffic stop was not hit.

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