Eighteen individuals will receive a Carnegie Medal – the highest honor for civilian heroism in the U.S. and Canada – for risking their lives while trying to save others from drowning, burning vehicles, or burning homes. Three of those heroes who died during their courageous acts will receive the honor posthumously – Melissa Anne Lehew, David S. Turner, Sr., and Mir Khaled Ahmad.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today recognized these 17 Americans and one Canadian for risking their lives while trying to save others from perilous, life-threatening situations including Zachary Salce and Maddison Henslin who crawled under flames to pull a downstairs neighbor from her burning apartment, and Maciej Kosiarski, who dropped into an overturned SUV’s passenger compartment to assist its driver to safety.
The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this final announcement of 2019 recipients, a total of 10,135 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the more than 115 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $41.3 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
|Kyle Bowman||Aberdeen, Md.|
|Melissa Anne Lehew, deceased||Darlington, Md.|
|Steven W. Fitzpatrick||Marysville, Wash.|
|Sean R. Dias||Braintree, Mass.|
|Maciej Kosiarski||Schaumburg, Ill.|
|Tyler James Hance||Fort Covington, N.Y.|
|David S. Turner, Sr., deceased||Lubbock, Texas|
|Mir Khaled Ahmad, deceased||Vacaville, Calif.|
|Michael Benjamin James||Belleville, N.J.|
|Julius A. Ortenzo||Prescott, Ariz.|
|Dylan M. Goetsch||Sturgis, S.D.|
|Christopher W. Schmoker||Sturgis, S.D.|
|Philip L. Hall||Albuquerque, N.M.|
|Daniel Simonelli||San Diego|
|Christopher E. Lawless||North Sydney, N.S.|
|Zachary Salce||Lompoc, Calif.|
|Maddison Henslin||Lompoc, Calif.|
|Danny Lee Tiger||Ada, Okla.|
Summaries of the acts to follow. To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online or write to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at carnegiehero.org. Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/carnegiehero and Twitter: @carnegie_hero.
Melissa Anne Lehew, deceased
During heavy rain, motorist Daniel E. Samis, 67, was stranded in his car on a flooded section of road Aug. 31, 2018, in Bel Air, Md. Driving nearby, 31-year-old Kyle Bowman, a tree trimmer, and his partner, Melissa Anne Lehew, 34, saw Samis’s car and stopped at the scene. Bowman backed his pickup truck to the water’s edge about 100 feet away and, after tying a rope to his truck’s rear, waded toward Samis’s car holding the other end of the rope. Lehew, also holding to the rope, followed. Shortly, Lehew lost her footing and fell into the water. Bowman went to her and helped her to her feet, but they became separated. Lehew was carried downstream by the current and away from the scene, drowning. Samis’s car, with him inside, was also washed away and his body was later recovered from his car. Bowman exited the water safely.