Gahanna senior searching for man who helped family after fatal crash

(Courtesy Maddie Williams/Facebook)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– In 2002, Maddie Williams’ mom died in a crash in Tennessee. Now Williams is searching for the man who helped comfort her the night of the tragedy.

According to Williams, who was four at the time, in June of 2002, her family was traveling from Reynoldsburg to San Antonio, Texas, when they were involved in a crash about 15 miles north of Nashville.

Williams, who is now a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School, said that immediately after the crash, a man got out of his car, pulled her out of her car seat and wrapped her in one of her dad’s shirts that had been strewn across the freeway. She says the man then held while her dad tried to help her mom and brother.

Williams’ mom was killed in the crash and the man comforted her when she saw her 15-year-old brother had been seriously injured in the crash.

She said even at age 4 she had memories of the man. “He leaned inside the car and asked if I was ok, I said yes,” Williams said. She cannot remember his face–only his kindness.

“I thought about how to do that for a long while and my aunt told me on a recent trip to Lake Erie, ‘why don’t you post it on Facebook?’” Maddie said.

She did and her plea has been shared 13,000 times by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“I had no idea it would get that many shares, I thought may be a hundred or so,” she said.

(Courtesy Maddie Williams/Facebook)

“Finding and thanking this man is something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I know this is a shot in the dark but if you could please share/like this post that would mean everything to me,” she posted.

Both Maddie’s brother and father survived that accident. She said life went on, with her police officer dad becoming a father and mother to the siblings. She said she is healthy and happy and about to leave for college, but feels a need to say thank you to that Samaritan. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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