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WSP trooper dies near Chinook Pass

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Washington State Patrol troopers are mourning the loss of one of their detectives. Brent Hanger died Thursday while working near Chinook Pass. Hanger was a 47-year-old detective from Skagit County.

"He truly was a family man," said Trooper Mark Francis, a WSP public information officer. "His kids adored him, his wife adored him and he adored them."

Troopers say Hanger was investigating a marijuana grow operation near Chinook Pass around nine in the morning. Authorities say he said he had chest pains and shortness of breath before dying. Hanger had been with WSP for 17 years.

"[He was] a great trooper." Trooper Francis said. "He won an Award of Merit in 2000 for assisting and saving the life of a suicidal subject."

Hanger was Francis's coach while he was a cadet and says he made a lasting impression.

"[He was] very distinguished, very hard working," Francis said. "I mean, he taught me everything I know about the patrol."

Hanger was a native of Washington and leaves behind a wife and six children. His friends and family say he will be deeply missed.

Helicopters flew Hanger's body back toward Yakima Thursday afternoon. Memorial services are still being planned.

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