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Man Rushes Over to Save Driver In Hwy 14 Crash

Posted at: 04/05/2013 10:38 PM
Updated at: 04/05/2013 10:42 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Two similar crashes in one day involving rollovers, power outages, and good Samaritans coming to the rescue. One of those crashes was on Highway 14 just west of Chester. A van smashed into a power pole, and knocked it down before rolling over.

Jesse Halling was just passing by when he saw the power poll crash onto the ground, but once he saw the van a few feet down, he passed the cars around him and quickly pulled over. "I just moved down in the ditch under the van and  could see his foot under the window," said Halling.

The van was upside down with the driver still in it. "I saw that the wheels were still turning and there were flames starting to emerge from underneath the motor," said Halling.

Dodging around active power lines, Jesse opened the door to help. “ I tapped him on the leg a couple times and he didn't respond at first," said Halling. He started yelling until he the driver came to. "I said to him, ‘the vehicle is on fire we need to get out now,’" said Halling.

While lifting the seat belt so the driver could step out, other neighbors came to put out the fires. "People came out of the buildings after I had the kid out. They had fire extinguishers and they started spraying it with that," said Halling.

Soon after, police and fire crews were there. "When we arrived on scene the car was upside down in the ditch," said Rochester Fire Captain Chuck Solseth.

The fire had been put out, but the power cords were still a threat. "We had one power pole that was sheared off, damage to another one, and we had power lines laying down across Highway 14," said Capt. Solseth.

That section of the highway was shut down and the young man was taken to the hospital. "The individual was able to walk away," said Capt Solseth.

However, had Jesse and others not rushed over, things could have ended much worse. "If there's someone in need I have to help," said Halling.

About 300 homes and businesses were without power for a few hours after the crash. That's since been restored and the driver is said to have minor injuries.