Joshua Aaron Traylor and Ron Allen ElkoMount Clemens (Mich.) Mayor Barb Dempsey, far left, holds up the Carnegie Medal during a Sept. 17 ceremony in which Carnegie heroes Joshua Aaron Traylor and Ron Allen Elko, right, were presented with the award at a Mount Clemons City Commissioners meeting. Anthony Traylor, center, the brother of posthumous awardee Joshua Aaron Traylor, accepted the award on behalf of his late brother.

According to news reports, Dempsey’s voice cracked as she presented Anthony Traylor with his brother’s medal. “I’m sorry he lost his life,” she said.

Commissioners and audience members gave both heroes a standing ovation.

In April, 2017, Clinton Township (Mich.) residents Joshua Aaron Traylor, 24, and Elko, 36, entered the Clinton River after a 3-year-old boy fell into the 45-degree water. Traylor attempted to reach the boy, but shortly began to struggle and submerged. Seeing the boy also submerge, Elko jumped into the water, grasped the boy’s shirt, pulled him to the surface, and brought him to a boardwalk where others secured him. Traylor drowned. Photo by Mike Vereeke.


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