End of Watch: 03/22/1993
Agency: Washington State Patrol
County: King County
Steven Lee Frink was born to Gordon V. Frink and Lorene Marie Derrick on March 20, 1954, in Norfolk, Nebraska.
The family moved to Washington State in 1955, where Frink graduated from Kentridge High School in 1972. He was active in football, basketball, and baseball, but his sport of choice was baseball, playing 3rd base and shortstop. He continued his education at Green River Community College, receiving his Associate of Arts Degree in Forestry in 1975.
That degree was put to good use from 1975 to 1978, where Frink was employed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Frink joined the United States Army in 1979, serving as a military policeman at Fort Ord, California. He also served in Military Police Investigations (MPI) and the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Three years of his service were spent stationed in Germany. He left active-duty status in 1983. He served as a reservist in the Criminal Investigation Division from 1983 until his death in March 1993.
Frink continued his interest in law enforcement following his military service by joining the Bellevue Police Department as a support officer in January 1984. He retained the position until being hired as a trooper cadet by the Washington State Patrol on June 28, 1985.
Trooper Frink became a member of the 62nd Trooper Basic Training Class and was commissioned December 20, 1985, assigned to Bellevue. Trooper Frink joined the Bellevue motors unit just two years after commission.
While serving as an Army reservist, Trooper Frink was called to active duty in Washington D.C. during Desert Storm to a protective service detail for Defense Secretary, Dick Cheney. This tour lasted from February 26, 1991 to June 27, 1991. He returned to his road duties after his tour was complete.
On Thursday, March 18, 1993, Trooper Frink clocked a Mercedes traveling eastbound on I-90 going 82 MPH. The car was being driven by a fifteen-year-old Bellevue High School student heading back to campus from lunch in Seattle’s International District.
Trooper Frink attempted to stop the Mercedes near 77th Avenue Southeast as it continued traveling eastbound on I-90. Trooper Frink radioed communications that he was attempting to overtake the speeding suspect vehicle. The suspect exited to Island Crest Way, collided with the northern jersey barrier wall, and spun around inside the tunnel, facing Trooper Frink. As Trooper Frink entered the tunnel, he approached the sharp right-hand turn. He drove up onto the tunnel wall where he struck a barrier. He was thrown off of his motorcycle and his head struck a light pole. His riderless motorcycle traveled another 150 feet before it fell from the wall, coming to rest in the middle of the off-ramp. The suspect saw Trooper Frink crash; backed up and drove away. The suspect drove into a private driveway where he and a passenger changed a flat tire and walked off. They were arrested a short time later by the Mercer Island Police Department.
On March 22, 1993, Trooper Frink died at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue from head and chest injuries suffered in the collision. He died on his 18th wedding anniversary, at the age of 39. At the time of his death, Trooper Frink had served eight years with the Washington State Patrol.
The suspect was eventually charged with felony hit and run, attempting to elude, reckless driving and no valid operator’s license. He served thirty days at the King County Youth Service Center.
In May of 1996, Trooper Frink was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on March 22, 1993, by the Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee.
Trooper Frink is survived by his wife, daughter, and son. His brother is a retired WSP Motors Trooper. His father and mother passed away in 2006 and 2017, respectively.