A crash, a fireball and a hero on Highway 10 in Coon Rapids, Minn.

Gene Goldschmidt didn't think twice after watching a terrifying crash along Highway 10 on his way to work Tuesday morning.

A Saturn, driven by Sean Novack, had struck the center median on westbound Highway 10 near Egret Boulevard just before 7 a.m. The vehicle then tore across all three lanes of traffic, took out a light pole and slammed into a tree at the bottom of the highway ditch.

"As he hit the tree, a big ball of flames went up as the car ignited," Goldschmidt said.

Goldschmidt rushed over to get Novack out of the car before it was too late.

"The adrenaline was pumping," Goldschmidt said. "As I'm running down into the ditch, I was thinking it shouldn't explode quite yet. I have watched enough movies where it doesn't explode until you get clear of the car."

The car never did ignite fully. A trucker stopped to help, using a fire extinguisher to put out the flames near the gas tank. Goldschmidt tended to Novack, who was in a state of shock from the impact, but otherwise suffering from only bumps and bruises.

It's not clear what caused the crash, Novack said he suffers from a seizure disorder, but paramedics at the scene told him that didn't appear to be a factor. The 43-year-old father was returning home from dropping his daughter off at school.

Novack said he is grateful for the assistance he got from complete strangers. As for Goldschmidt, who looks out over Highway 10 from his office at Keller Williams Classic Realty in Coon Rapids -- he had his own family on his mind after the morning drama less than a mile from his work.

"I hope somebody would (help) if it was my wife, my boys or something like that," Goldschmidt said. "That they would go do the same for them."

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