PITTSBURGH, PA, DECEMBER 20, 2001—In its fifth and final award announcement of 2001, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 24 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The bronze medal is given to persons who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Two of the awardees died in the performance of their heroic acts.
The heroes announced today bring to 112 the number of persons who have been recognized in 2001 and to 8,558 the total number of persons honored by the Commission since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Mark Laskow stated that each of the awardees or their survivors will receive also a grant of $3,500. Throughout the 97 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $25.3 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
- William J. Martinson, Gladstone, Mich.
- Patrick J. Pryal, Rapid River, Mich.
- Jon M. Caswell, Highlands, N.C.
- David J. Buchmeier, Cheyenne, Wyo.
- Michael Fesen, Springfield, Va.
- Shannon Marie Segura, Green Bay, Wisc.
- Gerard Bowles, Brandon, Miss.
- Donald Lamontagne, St-Pierre-Baptiste, Que.
- Terry V. Allshouse, deceased, Akron, Ohio
- Jeffrey Rivera, Trinity, Fla.
- Richard C. Guillot, St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Thomas J. Dorr, Gambrills, Md.
- Webster D. Sanders, Tampa, Fla.
- Ronald Fischer, Jr., Flint, Mich.
- John B. Frederick, Springfield, Ohio
- Brian Evsich, Swannanoa, N.C.
- Edward A. Bowlin, Black Mountain, N.C.
- Dustin S. Chapman, Dallas, Ore.
- Donald E. Sapp, Hamilton, Ohio
- Richard Baker, Hamilton, Ohio
- Richard C. Maindelle, deceased, Jonesboro, Ga.
- W. Kevin Snyder, Peachtree City, Ga.
- Michel Lemay, Bellefeuille, Que.
- John Kennedy, Scituate, Mass.
Resumes of the acts follow. To nominate someone for the CARNEGIE MEDAL, write the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or call 1-800-447-8900 (toll free). Fuller information on the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the history of the CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION can be found at www.carnegiehero.org
William J. Martinson
William J. Martinson saved Mildred M. Castor from burning, Escanaba, Michigan, October 18, 2000. Ms. Castor, 64, was a passenger in the back seat of a car driven by her brother-in-law, Martinson, 55. While stopped at a traffic light at a highway intersection, the car was struck from behind by a sport utility vehicle, which itself had been struck by a tractor-trailer. The three vehicles came to rest in close proximity to each other, and flames broke out on them and grew quickly. After Martinson and two other passengers exited the car through its right front door, which was the only one that could be opened, Martinson returned inside the vehicle for Ms. Castor, who was stunned. He urged her to climb into the front seat, then, with flames spreading, he grabbed her by the arms, pulled her into the front seat, and dragged her out of the car. Two other men took Ms. Castor away from the car, part of which was engulfed by flames seconds later, as were the sport utility vehicle and part of the tractor-trailer. Ms. Castor and Martinson required hospital treatment for minor injuries.
Back to Top
Patrick J. Pryal
Rapid River, Michigan
Jon M. Caswell
Highlands, North Carolina
Patrick J. Pryal and Jon M. Caswell saved Peter M. Sundholm from burning, Escanaba, Michigan, October 18, 2000. Sundholm, 54, was the driver of a sport utility vehicle that was stopped at a traffic light at a highway intersection. When it was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer, the vehicle struck the car in front of it. The three vehicles came to rest in close proximity to each other, and flames broke out on them and grew quickly. Another motorist, Pryal, 44, wholesaler, witnessed the accident. He immediately ran to Sundholm’s vehicle and, through the open front door on the passenger side, saw Sundholm lying unconscious on the front seat. Despite flames having entered the rear interior of the vehicle, Pryal leaned inside through the opened door, grasped Sundholm, and began to pull him out. He was joined shortly by another motorist, Caswell, 30, chef, who also had seen the accident and responded to the scene. Caswell also leaned through the opened door and grasped Sundholm, and together the men pulled him from the vehicle and dragged him to safety on the highway shoulder. Minutes later Sundholm’s vehicle was engulfed by flames, as were parts of the tractor-trailer and the car. Sundholm required hospital treatment for his injuries. Caswell had a sprained finger, scraped the knuckles on his left hand, and coughed for a short time but was otherwise uninjured.
75288-8536 / 74955-8537
Back to Top
David J. Buchmeier
David J. Buchmeier rescued Destiny C. Martinez from burning, Cheyenne, Wyoming, April 23, 2000. Destiny, 1, was inside a one-story house when, at night, natural gas that had leaked into the basement exploded, causing the house to collapse. She fell into the basement, where fire had erupted. Having heard the explosion, neighbors, including Buchmeier, 34, heating and air conditioning technician, responded to the scene. Buchmeier climbed through and atop the debris and, by the light of a flashlight, saw Destiny in the basement, between the stairway and the flames. He climbed down through a hole in the debris and went to her, then picked her up and crawled up the stairs. He and Destiny exited the rubble to safety. Destiny sustained burns, cuts, and bruises, for which she required hospitalization.
Back to Top
Michael Fesen helped to save Janet A. Ferrara from burning, Fredericksburg, Virginia, September 14, 2000. Ms. Ferrara, 61, and her husband were traveling on an interstate highway in a 25-foot motor home when fire erupted in the engine then spread to the front interior of the vehicle, filling it with dense smoke. Her husband stopped the motor home on the shoulder of the highway, then attempted to remove Ms. Ferrara, who was disabled, from the front passenger seat. Another motorist, Fesen, 43, regional manager, stopped at the scene, approached the vehicle, and entered it through the door at the midpoint on the passenger side. The dense smoke forced him out, but Fesen re-entered and made his way through the smoke toward the front of the vehicle. He worked alongside Ms. Ferrara’s husband to lift her from her seat, then take her back to the side door. The men pulled Ms. Ferrara outside to safety before flames consumed the front interior of the motor home, destroying it.
Back to Top
Shannon Marie Segura
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Shannon Marie Segura saved Ashley R. Stone from burning, Green Bay, Wisconsin, March 19, 2001. Ashley, 1, was in a crib in a bedroom of her parents’ one-story house after fire broke out in the adjoining living room at night. A neighbor, Ms. Segura, 25, assistant manager, was alerted to the fire, and she immediately responded to the scene. Knowing the location of Ashley’s crib, Ms. Segura entered the house through the front door and crossed the burning living room to the bedroom. She removed Ashley from the crib and turned to retrace her course, but flames in the living room had worsened. Ms. Segura went to a bedroom window, which was broken out by others, and handed Ashley outside to safety. Ms. Segura then fled the burning house through the same window. Ashley was hospitalized two days for treatment of smoke inhalation, and she recovered. Ms. Segura was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation, a burn to a finger, and a laceration to her right knee that required sutures. She too recovered.
Back to Top
Gerard Bowles attempted to save Gerald S. Thomas from being struck by a vehicle, Jackson, Mississippi, January 16, 2000. At night, Thomas lay on a lane of an interstate highway after an accident in which he was ejected from his vehicle. At least two other vehicles then struck him. Another motorist, Bowles, 67, was approaching the scene when he saw Thomas on the highway. Bowles parked his car behind Thomas in an attempt to shield him from other oncoming vehicles, then he exited his car intending to divert traffic. When he went to the trunk of his vehicle to obtain a flashlight, he was struck by a car that had approached in that lane. Bowles was thrown into the median. Sustaining multiple fractures and other injuries, Bowles required extensive hospitalization, during which he underwent amputation of both lower legs. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.
Back to Top
Donald Lamontagne rescued Clermont Côté from an attacking bull, Vianney, Quebec, October 10, 1999. Côté, 46, was herding cattle in a pasture on his farm when he was knocked to the ground by a 2,200pound bull, which then butted him repeatedly. Côté had been conversing with a motorist, Lamontagne, 47, farmer and cattle broker, who had stopped to ask for directions. As the bull continued to butt Côté, who could not stand, Lamontagne climbed a fence and ran to him. Lamontagne attempted to distract the bull, and the bull alternated his attack on Côté with threatening lunges at Lamontagne. After a few minutes, the bull paused, and Lamontagne pulled Côté to his feet. He hurried to the fence, pulling Côté with him. The bull followed them. Lamontagne pushed Côté over the fence, then started to climb it himself. The bull butted him in the back, pushing him over. Côté was hospitalized four days for treatment of broken ribs, and he recovered.
Back to Top
Terry V. Allshouse, deceased
Terry V. Allshouse died attempting to save Matthew A. Stoffer from suffocation, Twinsburg, Ohio, September 1, 2000. Stoffer, 26, lost consciousness in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere of the below-ground sewer vault in which he was working. He collapsed to the bottom of the 25-foot-deep vault. A coworker, Allshouse, 53, surveyor, was at the vault’s ground-level opening, as was the crew chief. The crew chief left to summon help and upon his return minutes later found that Allshouse was collapsed inside the vault. Firefighters arrived shortly and ventilated the vault, then entered and determined that neither Stoffer nor Allshouse exhibited vital signs. Both had died of asphyxiation.
Back to Top
Richard C. Guillot
St. Petersburg, Florida
Jeffrey Rivera and Richard C. Guillot rescued Daureen M. Parker from burning, Palm Harbor, Florida, December 8, 2000. Ms. Parker, 48, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of her van, which had left the highway, entered the lot of a service station, and knocked over a gasoline pump before coming to rest just short of the door to the service station store. Flames broke out at the pump island and on the toppled pump and the exterior of the van. Rivera, 35, salesman, had been standing in the store. After witnessing the accident, he ran to the passenger side of the van and tried to open its doors, but they were locked. Using a stepladder from the store, he struck and broke out the window to the front passenger door, then unlocked and opened the door. Entering the van, he pulled on Ms. Parker but could not move her. Flames increased and entered the van through the window of the driver’s door, which broke at some point. Rivera emerged from the van and shouted for help. A motorist, Guillot, 33, loan specialist, who also had witnessed the accident, stopped at the scene. Rivera re-entered the van and began to dislodge Ms. Parker, then he and Guillot leaned inside, grasped her, and pulled her from the vehicle. They dragged and carried her to safety as the van became nearly engulfed by flames. Ms. Parker sustained severe burns to her left side for which she required hospitalization and surgery. Rivera also required hospital treatment, for smoke inhalation and a first-degree burn to his temple. Both recovered.
74964-8544 / 74965-8545
Back to Top
Thomas J. Dorr
Thomas J. Dorr rescued Robert E. Miller from burning, Gambrills, Maryland, January 7, 2001. Miller, 85, who could not walk unaided, lay on the living room floor of his house after fire broke out in that room and filled it with dense smoke. At his home two doors away, Miller’s son-in-law, Dorr, 56, retired engineer, was alerted to the fire. Dorr ran to the burning house and entered the kitchen, where he used a telephone to call for help. Crouching, he then went 15 feet through a smoke-filled hall to the entrance to the living room. There, he went to his knees and crawled about five feet into the burning room to Miller, who lay about 12 feet from the flames. He grasped Miller by an ankle and pulled him from the living room, then through the hall and across the kitchen and a sun porch, where he helped get Miller to his feet. Miller sustained minor burns to his head, from which he recovered, and he and Dorr singed their hair.
Back to Top
Webster D. Sanders
Webster D. Sanders helped attempt to save Jordan Joanides from drowning, Tampa, Florida, June 13, 2001. At night, Joanides, 35, was floating face down in Tampa Bay after a traffic accident on an interstate highway bridge in which he and his vehicle dropped from the bridge into the water. Webster, 17, high school student who was also a lifeguard, was a passenger in a car that stopped at the scene. Sleeping, he was alerted to the accident. Webster disrobed to his underwear, then, taking a child’s inner tube that was provided by another motorist, jumped feet first 22 feet into the water, which was 15 feet deep. By then, Joanides had been carried by a swift, outgoing tidal current to a point about 150 feet from the bridge. Webster swam to him, turned him over, and found that he was not breathing, had no pulse, and was severely injured. Webster attempted to swim back to the bridge with Joanides but was carried farther from it by the current. A police diver entered the water from the bridge and swam to them. He grasped Webster, who maintained his hold of Joanides, and swam back to the bridge with them, Webster kicking. The diver secured them at the bridge with a line that had been dropped until rescue boats arrived and removed them from the water. Joanides had died of injuries received in the accident. Webster was tired and his arms were sore, but he recovered.
Back to Top
Ronald Fischer, Jr.
Ronald Fischer, Jr., attempted to rescue Jackie L. Fischer-Kelly from assault, Flint, Michigan, July 21, 2000. Asleep in a bedroom on the second floor of his family’s house, Ronald, 15, high school student, was awakened to the screams of his mother, Ms. Fischer-Kelly, 36, who was being stabbed by a man. Ronald went downstairs to the kitchen, where he witnessed the assault. He approached the assailant and jumped on his back, then struggled against him, during which the assailant stabbed him in the chest. Ronald maintained defense of his mother, sustaining additional knife injury, then, going for help, collapsed in a neighbor’s yard. The assailant fled the scene by car but was apprehended shortly by police. Ronald was taken to the hospital, where he was detained a day for treatment of his wounds. He recovered. Ms. Fischer-Kelly died of her injuries.
Back to Top
John B. Frederick
John B. Frederick saved Sally A. Harris from burning, Springfield, Ohio, October 13, 2000. Ms. Harris, 48, remained in the third-floor hall of the three-story building in which she lived after fire broke in an adjacent building. Flames had spread to the second floor of Ms. Harris’s building and filled the second and third floors with smoke. Driving nearby, Frederick, 49, shop supervisor, saw the fire. He stopped at the scene and learned from a bystander that people might still be inside the building. Frederick entered the building through a side door and, ascending the smoke-filled stairwell, provided assistance to some of the tenants, who were fleeing. At the second floor, Frederick encountered the flames but continued toward the third floor, en route finding a man who told him that Ms. Harris remained there. After directing that man downstairs, Frederick crawled to the third floor and called to Ms. Harris. He then crawled through the smoke-filled hall in the direction of her voice and, finding her, stood and placed her over his shoulder. Carrying Ms. Harris, Frederick ran back to the stairwell, which flames were entering by then. He jumped down part of the burning stairwell, then ran downstairs to the first floor and exited the building with Ms. Harris. Neither was injured.
Back to Top
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Edward A. Bowlin
Black Mountain, North Carolina
Brian Evsich and Edward A. Bowlin rescued Kathy E. Andrews from assault, Black Mountain, North Carolina, November 10, 1999. Ms. Andrews, 32, and a friend, Evsich, 26, maintenance man, were walking in a parking lot when a man drove an automobile toward them. The car struck Evsich, injuring him and knocking him down, then struck Ms. Andrews, who was thrown onto the hood of the car. The car continued forward for about 50 feet before stopping, sending Ms. Andrews to the pavement. The driver of the car then left the vehicle, approached Ms. Andrews, and began to stab her. Despite injury to a knee, Evsich regained his footing, ran to the assailant, and struck him, knocking him away from Ms. Andrews. In the parking lot about 200 feet away, Bowlin, 43, truck driver, had witnessed the assault. He too immediately ran to the scene, arriving just after Evsich. The men overpowered the assailant and held him to the ground, Bowlin kneeling atop him. Police arrived shortly and arrested him. Ms. Andrews was hospitalized for treatment of severe leg injuries, some permanent, and multiple stab wounds. Evsich was treated for a broken kneecap, which caused him to miss a month’s work.
75054-8550 / 75029-8551
Back to Top
Dustin S. Chapman
Dustin S. Chapman saved William D. Latvala from drowning, Dallas, Oregon, March 30, 1999. Walking on the sidewalk of a bridge spanning Rickreall Creek, Latvala, 47, was struck by a vehicle and knocked into the creek. Unconscious, he was washed downstream by the swift current of the creek, which was swollen from recent rains. Men running along the bank following Latvala attracted the attention of Dustin, 17, high school student, who was in his family’s home on the bank. Dustin too ran along the creek, following Latvala, then he ran ahead of him and waded into the water to catch him. Although the creek was for the most part wadable, the current prevented Dustin from maintaining a position, and he was moved downstream. When Latvala came into view, Dustin moved to him, catching him closer to the opposite bank. Two men who had followed Latvala were on that bank, and after Dustin moved toward them with Latvala, swimming as needed, the men pulled them from the water. Dustin and one of the men revived Latvala with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, then Latvala was taken to the hospital, where he was detained for treatment of hypothermia and injuries sustained when he was struck by the vehicle. Dustin was cold but uninjured.
Back to Top
Donald E. Sapp
Donald E. Sapp and Richard Baker rescued Bethany R. Durbin from assault, Hamilton, Ohio, January 6, 2001. Ms. Durbin, 22, was being stabbed in the parking lot of a grocery store by a man armed with a knife. In the lot about 100 feet away, Sapp, 40, construction foreman, saw the assault and approached. He pushed the assailant off Ms. Durbin, but the assailant got back on top of her. Sapp jumped on the assailant’s back to struggle against him and was joined by Baker, 52, account manager, who had just left the store and also witnessed the assault. Baker helped to hold the assailant down as the assailant attempted to reach for the knife, which had dropped to the pavement during the scuffle and lay nearby. Sapp pushed the knife away, then Baker threw it into the parking lot. Both men restrained the assailant, allowing Ms. Durbin to flee into the store, until police arrived shortly and apprehended him. Ms. Durbin required hospital treatment for her wounds. Baker sustained scrapes to his left hand, thumb, and elbow, from which he recovered.
75066-8553 / 75065-8554
Back to Top
Richard C. Maindelle, deceased
Richard C. Maindelle died attempting to save Bhavani V. Mani from drowning, Jonesboro, Georgia, February 14, 2001. Ms. Mani, 42, struggled to stay afloat in the cold, murky water of a golf course pond after escaping from a car that had entered the pond and began to submerge. Maindelle, 57, retired military officer, was golfing nearby when he became aware of the accident. He responded to the scene and, removing his shoes, entered the pond and swam about 30 feet to Ms. Mani. A struggle ensued, during which Maindelle submerged in the 10-foot-deep water. He did not resurface. Another man entered the pond and swam to Ms. Mani, who had lost consciousness and was floating face down. He returned to the bank with Ms. Mani, who was then taken to the hospital for treatment. Rescue divers entered the pond in a boat and recovered Maindelle. He too was taken to the hospital, but he could not be revived and was pronounced dead of drowning.
Back to Top
W. Kevin Snyder
Peachtree City, Georgia
W. Kevin Snyder saved three children from burning, Union City, Georgia, February 22, 2001. Three children remained in the back seat of a car after an interstate highway accident in which the car, struck from behind, burst into flame. Approaching on the same highway, Snyder, 33, attorney, witnessed the accident. He pulled onto the shoulder, went to the passenger side of the burning car, and, obtaining a piece of metal from another vehicle, broke out both side windows. While others aided the front-seat occupants of the car to safety, Snyder reached into the smoke-filled vehicle through the rear passenger window and removed an unconscious child. He then reached in and removed the second child from the car. To get to the third child, who was restrained in a car seat on the far end of the back seat, Snyder extended nearly all of his body through the window, despite flames on the rear and driver’s side of the car and on its undercarriage. In dense smoke and intense heat, Snyder struggled to free that child’s car seat. He did so, then backed from the car with the child and collapsed to the pavement. Others took them away from the car, the interior of which was shortly engulfed by flames. The children were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident. Snyder inhaled smoke, for which he was treated at the scene, and he sustained a burn to his leg and other minor injury.
Back to Top
Michel Lemay saved Sébastien and Stéphanie Duval and Sonia Duval from burning, St-Colomban, Quebec, October 19, 1999. Siblings Sébastien, 2, and Stéphanie, 4, and their mother, Ms. Duval, 27, were inside the family residence, a mobile home, after fire erupted in the living room shortly before dawn and filled the mobile home with dense smoke. From a neighboring residence, Lemay, 53, carpenter, saw flames issuing from one end of the mobile home and immediately responded to the scene. He kicked open the back door, which opened into a hall, then, despite intense heat inside, entered the mobile home and located Sébastien in the hall. Lemay took Sébastien outside then re-entered the mobile home. He found Ms. Duval in the hall and carried her outside. Discarding his coat, which had started to burn, Lemay entered the mobile home a third time. He proceeded toward the flames and found Stéphanie, who was also in the hall. He took her outside, then worked to revive the victims, all of whom were unconscious and covered with soot, before learning that another child was in the mobile home. Lemay attempted another re-entry, but flames and smoke were prohibitive. Sébastien, Stéphanie, and Ms. Duval were taken to the hospital for treatment; the third child died in the fire, which destroyed the mobile home. Lemay singed his hair and sustained minor burns on his face and hands, from which he recovered.
Back to Top
John Kennedy rescued a man from assault, Boston, Massachusetts, November 10, 1999. When a male juvenile shot a man in the upper chest with a handgun on a downtown sidewalk, the two struggled for control of the gun. At work in his office on the second floor of a building across the street, Kennedy, 44, physical therapist, heard the gunshot, looked out a window, and saw the struggle. Assuming that the assailant and the victim were struggling for control of a gun, Kennedy ran downstairs and quickly approached the scene. Crouching, he placed himself between the victim and the assailant and also grasped the gun, then fell to the sidewalk as he joined in the struggle for control of it. Taking the gun, the assailant broke free and fled, but others apprehended him and held him for police as Kennedy aided the victim, who required hospital treatment for his wound.
Back to Top