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WFTV Channel 9 Orlando

‘Humbling’: Orlando firefighter receives 3 awards for saving deputy from fiery car

By Brittany Caldwell,

2023-06-02
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Seminole County deputies honored an Orlando firefighter on Friday for saving the life of one of their own.

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In March, Lt. Benjamin Wootson III was driving off-duty when he looked in his rearview mirror and saw a Seminole County patrol car crash into an overpass bridge in Sanford.

Wootson was driving his son to soccer practice when he saw Deputy Matthew Luxon’s SUV burst into flames.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said Luxon suffered a medical episode before crashing his vehicle.

Read: ‘Do what’s right’: Orlando firefighter recalls saving Seminole County deputy from fiery crash

Wootson turned his car around and stepped in to rescue him.

That quick thinking was part of what ultimately saved Luxon’s life.

“Without that type of training, I wouldn’t be here right now,” Wootson said.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Orlando Fire Department recognized Wootson’s heroic act at a ceremony.

Read: Firefighter honored for saving Seminole County deputy’s life in fiery crash

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said Wootson was “a great example for his community and (the) profession itself.”

Lemma presented Wootson with a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Orlando Fire Department gave Wootson a “Life Saving” Award.

Read: Orlando firefighter honored with hero award for rescuing Seminole County deputy

Lt. Brad Dicky with the Seminole County Fire Department also honored Wootson with an “Off-Duty Hero” Award for his quick actions off the clock and changing what could have been a horrific situation.

“It is humbling, seeing the outreach and support,” Wootson said. “Words can’t express my gratitude. If there’s anything to take away, it’s to inspire others.”

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