HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday honored two good Samaritans who rescued a family from drowning earlier this year.

  • Jolisa Jones, Aaron Allen received awards from Sheriff
  • Incident occurred August 31, 2018
  • Hit-and-run driver involved in crash never caught

Jolisa Jones and Aaron Allen received awards from Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister for their efforts on August 31, 2018, when they helped a family trapped in their SUV, which was upside down in a pond.

"If not for their heroic efforts, all three occupants would likely have perished," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Danny Alvarez.

Diana Windsor, 39, was inside that SUV with her 11-day-old baby and her husband. She told us they were victims of a hit-and-run crash that forced their SUV into the pond.

"Once the car filled with water, all we could see was water and the airbags," Windsor said. "That's all we could see. So, we were fearful that we were going to drown."

Jones and Allen, who are brother and sister, were driving an Ashley Furniture delivery truck and witnessed the crash.

"It actually happened right in front of us," Jones explained. "A car smacked them. Their car started to flip and as they started flipping we was already pulling the truck over.”

"The car is upside down," Allen said. "We can’t break any of the windows. We can’t see inside the car. So, I mean the only thing I can think about doing is, 'let’s flip the car. We’ve got to flip it.'” 

Allen still has a scar on his arm from punching out the window to get the family out once they had righted the vehicle.

"They were our guardian angels for sure," Windsor added. "We're happy to know that good people get rewarded and get good recognition."

Nearly 70 recipients were honored during the ceremony. Other honorees include retired law enforcement, employees with 20+ years of service, volunteers, and good Samaritans. 

"These are people that go above and beyond the call of duty and live out the mission of HCSO, to serve, protect, and defend this great community, every single day. I couldn't be more proud to recognize their hard work and good deeds," Chronister said.