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Washington County Sheriff's deputy pulls driver from burning car

Police say a wrong-way driver crashed on Highway 26 early Wednesday morning. Photo courtesy Beaverton Police Department 

BEAVERTON, Ore. – A Washington County Sheriff's deputy pulled a driver out of a burning car on Highway 26 Wednesday morning.

Deputy Kevin Weisenfluh noticed headlights coming toward him on the highway at 2:39 a.m. He tried getting the drivers attention with his overhead lights, but was forced to swerve out of the way to avoid the driver.

He alerted other deputies in the area about the wrong-way driver.

Soon after, the driver crashed into the center barrier and the support posts for an overhead sign near Highway 26 and Southwest Murray Boulevard.

Police said no other vehicles were involved.

Deputy Mark Shah was the first responder to the crash. As he was getting close to the car, the engine burst into flames.

He used a fire extinguisher on it and then cut the driver's seat belt and tried to pull him free.

Deputy Jason Waterbury and Deputy Gary Upton also arrived and used their fire extinguishers on the flames.

Waterbury and Shah then worked together to pull the driver out of the car and away from the fire.

They said the driver, later identified as 22-year-old Mohammed Warfa, was unconscious and bleeding heavily when they pulled him out.

He was taken to a hospital. Police do not believe his injuries are life-threatening.

"I'm very proud of everyone on scene, including Deputies Shah, Waterbury and Upton, for their quick and heroic actions to rescue the trapped, injured driver from his burning vehicle," Sheriff Pat Garrett said. "We are all glad no other injuries resulted from a very serious traffic crash caused by an apparent intoxicated driver. My thanks to the Beaverton Police Department and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue for their terrific response and investigation."

Warfa was cited for DUII, reckless driving, and reckless endangering, police said. His blood alcohol content measured 0.23.

The Beaverton Police Department is investigating the crash.

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