Orange County firefighter honored for helping family trapped in car while off duty

An Orange County firefighter was honored as a hero Wednesday night. He stopped while he was off duty to help a mom and her kids who were trapped in their vehicle after a crash.

Marwan Williams and Jennifer Rich have now formed a special bond. The two stood together as the Orange County Fire Rescue Chief awarded Marwan for his quick actions.

But their new friendship didn’t start this way. It started with a crash.

Jennifer said she was driving with her kids in the car a few days ago in Winter Garden. The next thing she knew, they were in a crash.

"We just felt impact after impact after impact," Jennifer said.

Her van was upside down in the grass. She and her kids were trapped inside.

"I could hear them kind of crying and yelling, and I was just trying to figure out how we were going to get out," she said.

Jennifer said people were stopped along the road to take videos and pictures, but no one stopped to help until firefighter Marwan Williams. He was off duty at the time and was driving home to Tampa. He believes he pulled up to the crash just minutes after it happened.

"I expect someone to do for me what I would do for someone else," Marwan said.

"I just saw his face appear in the windshield, and he started talking to me asking my name," Jennifer said.

Marwan stayed with the family until the police arrived. They used batons to break out the back windshield and get the family out. Luckily, they were all wearing seatbelts, and no one was hurt.

"The whole time what was going through my mind was just keeping them calm and making sure they knew they were alright," Marwan said.

Marwan said he didn’t expect an award for his actions. He has worked with the department for three years and said he was just doing his job.

"I didn’t know the impact I had until I actually spoke to [Jennifer}. So it really touched me that I was there in that moment.