HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. — Good Samaritans are being hailed as heroes for their quick thinking that likely saved the lives of two young parents and their newborn infant who were trapped in a sinking car.
Hillsborough County deputies say a hit-and-run vehicle sideswiped the family of three. The incident happened Friday on I-75 NB just before the exit to SR 56. The car rolling over and landing right in a retention pond.
Every cry echoing inside the Windsor home is a blessing. Just like the strangers who made the embrace between Thomas and Diana Windsor and their daughter possible.
The parents spoke exclusively with ABC Action News. They described their Friday morning drive ending in near death. The Windsors were headed home after a doctor's appointment when, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, what could be a white Chrysler 300 changed lanes and smashed into their car. Their car was forced off the road. Mom, dad, and baby were left hanging upside down in their seatbelts as the car sank into the pond.
“I saw the water coming in and I didn’t know how deep it was and I started freaking out," described Thomas.
Right behind them, siblings Jolisa Jones and Aaron Allen are nearly two hours late to work. The delay placing them in the right place at the right time to see the crash happen in front of them. Without hesitation, they pumped on the breaks on their Ashley Furniture truck and run to the pond.
“I looked through the windshield the dad was curled up around the baby. Protecting the baby," said Allen.
In the car, the Windsors feel the car start to shift.
"We knew someone was trying to lift the car up and my initial thought was ‘there’s no way they are going to lift this car on its side'” thought Diana.
But with some strength the siblings right the car. Allen wrapped a t-shirt around his fist and punched the windshield until it broke. The parents handed the siblings 11-day-old Azara first. Finally, the parents made it out to land.
“I got 14 stitches, it pretty much looks like a big bite right here," Allen says. His arm is still bandaged. Today this savior is in pain, but while carrying his own 4-month-old daughter, this father insists it was worth every stitch.
“People are calling me a hero about it but honestly it’s what anybody should have done," said Allen.
Two families in deep gratitude this holiday but their story is not yet over. State Troopers need tips to find the driver responsible. If you have any information about this incident call the Florida Highway Patrol.