(INSIDE EDITION) - A volunteer firefighter in Minnesota responded to a call of a fatal crash over the weekend only to discover a victim in the wreck was his own teenage son.
Randy Peterson answered a call of a two-car collision Sunday night in the town of Borup.
When he arrived, he instantly recognized a burning car as his son's Dodge Avenger.
"I dropped to my knees. I was a mess. Another member of the crew just held me," Peterson, a father of three, told the Star Tribune.
Authorities say Carter Peterson was heading home when he was broadsided by a pickup. The impact sent Peterson's car into a ditch, where it flipped and caught fire.
He died at the scene.
Carter, 16, had just dropped off his girlfriend when tragedy struck.
Carter's girlfriend, Sarah Hanna, lives in a neighboring town and his father said he knew his son was out with her when he got the call about the crash.
After the call, Randy Peterson rang his son but got no answer as he rushed to the scene, where he discovered why Carter wasn't answering.
Police identified the driver of the other car as a 20-year-old North Dakota man, who was not seriously hurt. Cops reportedly said the man had alcohol in his system.
Carter played football for his high school, where he was the defensive MVP of his 2014 and 2015 seasons, according to his obituary.
While he adored football, it was his doting family and girlfriend he cherished most.
"Carter was happiest when he was at home with friends, his girlfriend Sarah, and his family. In his free time, you would find Carter Skyping his girlfriend, sharing his love for sports with his dad, (he knew every player) playing video games, and enjoying time with his friends and family," his touching obit read.