Trooper Steven Frink
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 third 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 police officer 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, and then served as a reservist in the CID 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.
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 15 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. 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, seeing the Mercedes facing back at him. In trying to avert an accident, Trooper Frink 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. At the time of his death, Trooper Frink, who was 39 years old, 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 30 days at the King County Youth Service Center.
Trooper Frink's widow, Gayle, married Randy Schulz in September 1995, and lives in Sammamish. Gayle worked as the Program/Services Director for Behind the Badge Foundation for 27 years. She is semi-retired and will end her career at the end of May 2022. She looks forward to what the future holds.
Kari Frink, daughter of Steven and Gayle Frink, lives in Sammamish with her daughter, Chloe. Chloe was born on Steven’s birthday, March 20th, and will be 17 this year. Kari works for Laird Norton Wealth Management in Seattle. Steven and Gayle's son, Christian, graduated from Western Washington University in 2012. Christian was married in 2018, and lives in the Spokane area with his wife, Grace Flora. Christian and Grace welcomed their son, Teddy, to the family in August 2021.
Trooper Frink’s brother, Stuart, is a retired Motors Trooper. Trooper Frink’s father, Gordon, passed away in August 2006, and his mother, Lorene, passed away in April 2017.
In May of 1996, Trooper Frink was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on March 22, 1993, by the Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor Committee.
On May 20, 2016, a dedication ceremony of the memorial to honor and remember King County Troopers was held at the Bellevue District Office. When you visit the Bellevue District Office, take a moment to stop by the beautiful memorial that was created in remembrance of King County Troopers.
Please take a moment to remember Trooper Frink and his family.
Memorial dedicated to Trooper Steven L. Frink, located at the Bellevue District Office.