Carnegie Hero Fund fetes 13 who risked or lost lives for others
PITTSBURGH — The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has honored 13 people with medals for risking their lives for others, including two people who died in the process.
Kevin Roberts, 43, of Mount Lookout, W.Va., died on June 4, 2012, while trying to save four youths from drowning off Bald Head Island, N.C. The youths, aged 12 to 17, were caught in a strong current when Roberts swam about 250 yards, the length of 2 1⁄2 football fields, into the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to save them. Roberts drowned, but another man, Ian Tordella-Williams, 27, of Carrboro, N.C., was able to help the youths survive until they were pulled into a rescue boat.
Also honored posthumously on Tuesday was Michael Wayne Pirie, of Oviedo, Fla., who was 18 when he died of hypothermia and other complications while trying to save another University of Florida student who became entangled in ropes while their group was exploring a cave in Lafayette, Ga., in February 2011.
The student he was trying to save, 20-year-old Grant Lockenbach, could not be rescued and died as he was trying to retrieve a dropped backpack beneath a waterfall that drained into a 125-foot pit about 1,000 feet inside Ellison's Cave.
The honorees, or their surviving relatives, also receive an unspecified financial grant.
The fund was established in 1904 by Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.
Based in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission's mission is to recognize people who perform heroic acts in civilian life and to provide financial help to those disabled, or to the dependents of those killed, by their heroism. Winners are announced five times a year.
So far this year, 35 people have been honored. Since its inception, 9,611 have been honored with medals and more than $35.2 million in cash awards.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers still knockin’ on Canton’s door
- Pitcher Arrieta, Cubs shut down Pirates in victory at PNC Park
- Plum man, 21, accused of attempted homicide
- Former Lower Burrell couple to stand trial for animal cruelty
- Homestead-Duquesne Road closure postponed
- Heyward-Bey looks to make impact on special teams with Steelers
- New Kensington considers seal-coat for roads
- Private schools fill void in driver education in Western Pennsylvania
- Philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse Elsie Hillman dies at 89
- Bridge replacement sends Fawn motorists on detours
- East Vangergrift gives contractor extra 16 days to complete separation project