Heroic rescue in Ellensburg

Heroic rescue in Ellensburg »Play Video
ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- A Washington State Trooper and a good Samaritan risked their lives to save a man whose car had crashed into a pond.

Foregoing their own safety they thought only of bringing out the unconscious driver alive.

Within a matter of seconds, a car driving on Interstate 90 Saturday morning in Ellensburg, swerved off the highway and landed in a pond.

With the driver unconscious, the car quickly began to sink.

Luckily for the victim, Jim and Laura Kocker saw the accident and pulled over to help.

"We saw the car bobbing in the water so we just ran down," said Laura Kocker.

As their son called 911, Jim, a former lifeguard and firefighter, swam out to the car but was unable to break the window or open the doors.

"Actually at that time I thought I might become a victim because the water was that cold," said Jim Kocker.

He returned just as Trooper Jay Farmer arrived on scene.

"I didn't have time to wait for a water rescue or for the firemen or for my other trooper that was ten minutes behind me. I had Jim luckily because without him, I wouldn't have been able to do it by myself for sure," said Trooper Farmer.

Once they returned to the car, Farmer was able to break the window with his baton. He said he could hear gurgling and what sounded like screaming coming from underwater.

They couldn't reach far enough into the car, but then somehow the driver door opened.

To this day they still don't know how.

"Nothing was going through my mind, I can remember specifics but I was only focused on what I needed to do if there was actually a person underwater," said Trooper Farmer.

Jim was then able to unbuckle the victim from the car, as the two swam him back to shore, saving his life.

"Both the Kittitas Fire Rescue and the troopers that were there afterward said your husband is amazing, and I agree," said Laura Kocker.

Yet neither Jim nor Trooper Farmer consider themselves to be heroes, as they said they just did what had to be done.

Officials say the driver suffered from a medical condition before the accident.

He was released from the hospital shortly after.