Va. trooper who saved toddler wins hero medal
A Virginia State Police Trooper based on the Eastern Shore is the lone area officer to be awarded a 2009 Carnegie Medal, which honors lifesaving acts in the United States and Canada.
Trooper Kurt J. Johnson, 43, was on routine patrol the night of Feb. 6 when he pulled a 3-year-old girl from a burning, overturned car on a highway in Pastoria, Va.. The girl's mother and two siblings had escaped the wreckage but Destineé N. Davis was pinned beneath the dashboard.
Johnson opened a rear car door, and through thick smoke and flames fed by gasoline reached the girl, the award citation noted. Johnson was chosen Dec. 22 in the final selections for this year.
The trooper and girl both were treated for injuries.
The award was started in 1904 by steelmaker Andrew Carnegie after a coal mining accident that killed 181, including two rescuers who had returned to the mine. A 21-member commission based in Pittsburgh choses recipients who become eligible for financial considerations including one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance, the foundation states.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Mary Pat Flaherty
December 30, 2009; 7:44 AM ET
Categories: Heroes , Mary Pat Flaherty , Virginia
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