AdventHealth Kissimmee nurse LaStar Bruce was headed to church. Harrison Steward, an AdventHealth Medical Group physician assistant, was beginning a family road trip. Sheriff’s Sgt. Jamie Hoffman was on his routine patrol. They were strangers until a crash rendered Sgt. Hoffman unconscious and his patrol car in flames.
When they saw the crash, LaStar, Harrison and Harrison’s wife, Linda, stopped on the busy highway and, without hesitation, did what they do best: save lives. Moments later, they were joined by fellow good Samaritan Donald Townsend, and together, they rescued Sgt. Hoffman.
"For these folks to stop and risk their life and safety takes a lot of courage,” Sgt. Hoffman said. “I believe God put them there for a specific reason.”
LaStar, Donald and the Stewards were recently honored by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Sheriff John Mina and Fire Chief Otto Drozd with Citizen Lifesaving Awards.
“They collectively showed great courage when one of our own needed them the most,” said Mayor Demings, who was sheriff at the time of the accident. “It’s safe to say they saved Sgt. Hoffman’s life that day.”
In awarding the good Samaritans, Sherriff Mina said he’s inspired by their quick-thinking and bravery. And so is Sgt. Hoffman, who suffered minor injuries and returned to work a week after the fiery crash.
“From the bottom of my heart, I am extremely thankful,” he said.