Sept. 22, 2021 — In its third announcement of 2021, the Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to recognize 18 civilians who risked their lives for others. Each will receive the Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism.
Among those to be awarded this quarter is John D. Colter, 66, who rushed into his daughter’s home after hearing gunshots and confronted her estranged husband, who had shot and wounded her. As he wrestled over control of the gun, Colter yelled for his daughter to go get help. Minutes later, the gunman shot and killed Colter, and fled. Also awarded are five men who drowned attempting to save others: Evan Patrick Ishima, 24, and Gabriel Cedrik Saechao, 20, attempted to rescue another man who had submerged at the top of a waterfall along a hiking trail; Draven M. Starr-Howell, 20; Edgar F. Moreno Alba, 17; and Sivad H. Johnson, 49, all drowned while attempting to rescue children who were struggling in deep water in three separate incidents. In addition, Allen Robert Linder will also receive the Carnegie Medal posthumously; he died attempting to save a young woman who suffocated inside the tank of a tanker truck that she was cleaning. Shortly after entering, Linder lost consciousness and could not be revived.
The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this announcement, a total of 10,256 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 117 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, more than $43 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
Hiedi Johnston, Willow Creek, California
Draven M. Starr-Howell, deceased, Palmyra, New York
Scott McFarland, Beaverton, Michigan
Erich M. Funccius, Kingston, New York
Allen Robert Linder, deceased, Milan, Ohio
Jean-Paul LaPierre, Weymouth, Massachusetts
Edgar F. Moreno Alba, deceased, Aguascalientes, Mexico
John D. Colter, deceased, Fenton, Missouri
Alan R. Cote, Auburn, New Hampshire
Stephen P. Carkhuff, Auburn, New Hampshire
Sivad H. Johnson, deceased, Detroit
Evan Patrick Ishima, deceased, Florin, California
Gabriel Cedrik Saechao, deceased, Sacramento, California
Ernest Beauparland, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Ronald Rock, Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Christian W. Smith, Brookings, Oregon
Eric C. Keys, La Plata, Maryland
John Miner, Phillipsburg, Kansas
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 and Twitter.