A Florida firefighter arrived late to his son’s soccer practice Saturday morning. However, he was able to save the life of a Seminole County deputy who was 33 years old.
According to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office at Sanford, Florida, Deputy Matthew Luxon suffered a medical emergency around 10:30 AM near Orange Boulevard and Wayside Drive. Then he crashed into a concrete column.
Luxon’s problems began with the accident and subsequent medical incidents. They weren’t the end. Luxon’s medical incident and subsequent crash caused his patrol car to catch on fire, and it quickly became a fiery inferno.
Lt. Benjamin Wootson of the Orlando Fire Department was nearby rushing his son to soccer practice.
WFTV received a call from an off-duty firefighter stating that they were “running late getting my child to soccer practice.”… We arrive 30 minutes early so they can warm up. As we were turning left onto Orange, I noticed a patrol car coming toward us.”
Wootson said that he is prone to “always looking at my mirrors.”
When he looked at his rearview, he was certain to see Luxon’s patrol vehicle hammering the support beam for the overpass.
Wootson stated, “I made a U-turn at the intersection and then ran back.” “I arrived on scene to find that there were still flames underneath the vehicle and that the engine compartment was already lit. ”
Wootson told WOFL-TV, “As I was pulling him out there were probably two golf ball-size flames where his legs were.”
Wootson managed to free the confused deputy from the seatbelt and out of the fire. Luxon was already freed from the wreckage by the firefighter when the patrol car burst into flames with his ammunition.
Wootson summoned an officer to assist in a situation involving a deputy. The deputy used the radio to call for the officer.
While Luxon was being cared for, Wootson’s neighbor came to his aid. A third person saw the situation. The firefighter moved the car to remove heat.
According to the SCSO, Luxon was taken to a local hospital to undergo successful surgery and stabilization.
WFTV reports the deputy is stable but still remains in the hospital.
Sheriff Dennis Lemma released a statement stating that Matt had two successful surgeries Saturday. He still has a lot of work ahead of him.
Luxon’s colleague set up a fundraiser for the wounded deputy and his family. It raised over $22,000.
Sheriff Lemma spoke out in support of Wootson. “I spoke with Lieutenant Benjamin Wootson of Orlando Fire Department who saved Matt from his patrol car moments after the crash.” “He was off duty but he was kind and reminded me that this is what we do.”
Lemma stated, “I thank God that he was there at that time. I expressed my gratitude and shared commendation also with OFD Chief Charlie Salazar. ”
Wootson believes that Saturday’s delay and Saturday morning’s tardiness were providential. He said, “God put me in a situation where [my son] was running late on purpose, and that he believes it is providential. ”
The firefighter reminded WESH-TV that you must do more than just look when you’re in emergency situations. These small actions can have a lasting effect that will last a lifetime.