Rockingham (N.C.) Mayor Steve Morris, left, presents the Carnegie Medal awarded to the late David Covington to his widow, Jane, center, and nephew, Chris Smith, right, during the city’s Jan. 14, 2020, council meeting.
On Jan. 9, 2019, four months before he died of natural causes, Covington rescued a 6-year-old girl from two dogs that were attacking her outside her school bus.
The retired railroad clerk, 72, left his vehicle, picked up a 4-foot-long tree branch, and swung at and struck the dogs until they ceased their attack. The girl was hospitalized for serious injuries.
Council members Gene Willard and Anne Edwards, who knew Covington for nearly 50 years, said that he was quiet and humble, according to a story in the Richmond (N.C.) Observer.
“I’m sure he didn’t have second thoughts about doing what he did, because that’s the kind of person he was,” Edwards said.