Carnegie awardee Ronald LaRue was one of 22 individuals recently named as a Carnegie Hero in the Commission’s third award announcement of 2015.
LaRue died attempting to save his 5-year-old grandson, Aiden A. Bulkley from drowning, in Bucksport, Maine, on Aug. 8, 2014. Aiden and LaRue, 54, a disabled truck driver, were fishing from a floating dock just off the bank of the Penobscot River with other family members when Aiden fell into the water. A very swift tidal current started to carry him away. LaRue immediately jumped into the river, swam to Aiden, and grabbed him. He held to Aiden with his right arm as he tried to swim toward the bank with his left arm, of which he only had partial use. Struggling in the water, LaRue was pulled downstream while holding Aiden and was seen floating on his back lifting Aiden with both arms. Both then submerged twice and were separated. First responders removed Aiden from the river at a point about 300 feet downstream of the dock and attempted unsuccessfully to revive him. LaRue’s body was recovered from the river in the same vicinity a few hours later. He too had drowned.
The medal is awarded to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others throughout the United States and Canada. A total of 9,797 awards have been made since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Throughout the 111 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $37.5 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
For more information on LaRue and others announced recently, see the award announcement.