“Just to turn around and look up and see that plane right there, it's just like 'this really gonna happen?'" said Darrel Illum.
Illum says he heard the roar of the plane's engine just feet above his head as he was working at a construction site Tuesday afternoon. At that moment, the small plane crashed into a car and caught fire.
Without hesitation, Illum, who used to be a firefighter, rushed toward the flames.
“I just heard a big bang and I just ran and yelled 'call 911' and ran up to the car,” Illum said.
That's when Illum saw a 43-year-old woman in the driver's seat and knew he had to act quick.
“As I got to the car, you could see the flames going across the top of the car,” Illum said.
Darrell opened the door, pulling the woman out and dragging her away from the flames.
“She was shaking - physically shaking,” Illum said. “She was just physically spent.”
But once he got the woman to a safe spot, he went back to the burning car.
“I looked back and saw her purse was in the car," Illum said. "I’ve been married 22 years and I know my wife needs her purse, so I ran over and got her purse."
As for the 63-year-old pilot, he was pulled out of the cockpit by an off-duty police officer who was driving by when the plane crashed. The officer didn't want to be identified.
“Everyone is going to be able to go home tonight and see their family. That's just the amazing thing,” Illum said.