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 BowmanAberdeen, Md.
Melissa Anne Lehew, deceasedDarlington, Md.
Steven W. FitzpatrickMarysville, Wash.
Sean R. DiasBraintree, Mass.
Maciej KosiarskiSchaumburg, Ill.
Tyler James HanceFort Covington, N.Y.
David S. Turner, Sr., deceasedLubbock, Texas
Mir Khaled Ahmad, deceasedVacaville, Calif.
Michael Benjamin JamesBelleville, N.J.
Julius A. OrtenzoPrescott, Ariz.
Dylan M. GoetschSturgis, S.D.
Christopher W. SchmokerSturgis, S.D.
Philip L. HallAlbuquerque, N.M.
Daniel SimonelliSan Diego
Christopher E. LawlessNorth Sydney, N.S.
Zachary SalceLompoc, Calif.
Maddison HenslinLompoc, Calif.
Danny Lee TigerAda, 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.

Kyle Bowman

Aberdeen, Md.

Melissa Anne Lehew, deceased

Darlington, Md.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.