Aaron Allen and his sister, Jolisa Jones, are being hailed as heroes after they jumped into a retention pond to rescue a couple, identified as Thomas and Diana Windsor, and their 11-day-old baby while driving on Interstate 75 in the Tampa Bay, Florida on Aug. 31.
According to Fox 13 News, Allen and Jones, who both work for Ashley Furniture, saw the family’s Toyota RAV4 get side-swiped by a white Chrysler while driving near the Pasco-Hillsborough line. “There was actually a mother, a father, and an 11-day-old baby inside,” Allen said. “I just immediately thought about my daughter and what I would do if I were in that situation.”
The siblings told authorities that the SUV was forced off the road before it rolled over and landed in the artificial lake. The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene. While the Windsors’ RAV4 sank in the wet pond, the brother and sister tried to “break the windows,” in an effort to help them. When that did not work, they used their manpower to flip the car right side up.
“So the only thing I could think of was to flip the car over,” Allen recalled. “I told my sister to help me so we could flip it over to its side. So what happened is after we flipped it over to the side, I took my shirt off and wrapped it around my fist, and I used my fist to break the windshield off.”
According to WXYZ, the new parents were headed home from a doctor’s appointment when the accident occurred. As water seeped into the car, Diana Windsor said she was in a panic, and her husband curled over the baby to try to protect her.
The couple doubted that Allen and Jones could successfully turn over the truck without additional assistance.
They came through in the end, and the family of three was removed from the vehicle safely. However, Allen, as a result of his heroic actions, received 14 stitches in the arm. The Windsors referred to Allen and Jones as “guardian angels.”
Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of the white Chrysler.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.