The drivers of a semi-trailer truck and a Chevy Impala have walked away unharmed after their vehicles collided on a highway with one of them bursting into flames.
On Sept. 19, shortly after 5:30 a.m., near Owatonna in Steele County, Minnesota, Kurt Ruzek, 55, crashed his Chevy Impala into a semi, driven by a 65-year-old man, at the intersection of 44th Avenue and Highway 14 in Havana Township. The Chevy burst into flames and skidded to a halt while the semi rolled into a ditch, according to a Facebook post by MN Crime - Police/Fire/EMS.
Minnesota Department of Transportation cameras recorded the crash and the aftermath.
"I didn't realize, not until it was too late, that I am going to hit him," Ruzek told Kare 11, adding that he was rushing on his way to work. "I don't remember the fire. ... I was wondering why my left arm had soot all the way up from my hand to my shoulder. That was soot from the fire, but I didn't get burned."
Ruzek recalls two people pulling over to check on him before the ambulance arrived. One "thought I was gone for sure," he said, "but then looked inside and saw me moving."
The 55-year-old climbed out of his car through a broken glass window, claiming the impact of the crash had jammed the doors shut.
After the accident, Ruzek spoke to four people who saw the video, and they asked him how he was still walking.
An ambulance and fire crews attended the scene. Both drivers were taken to Owatonna Hospital, and, incredibly, neither sustained life-threatening injuries. A police crash report confirmed that both drivers had been wearing their seatbelts, and there was no trace of alcohol detected.
"I'm grateful I'm still here," Ruzek said. "There's a reason I'm still here."