A 10-year-old girl from Lakeside, California, who died while saving the lives of two toddlers from being hit by a runaway car last February, was named as a posthumous recipient of the Carnegie medal for heroism, an award that is given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree to save or attempt to save the lives of others.
Kiera Vera Larsen was one of 21 individuals who were granted the award on Tuesday from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, according to local ABC affiliate 10 News. She was reportedly one of four who died while saving, or trying to save, someone else.
Keira was fatally run over by a runaway Mercedes Benz SUV while playing in the yard with a one-year-old child and a two-year-old on February 23, 2015. She instinctively pushed both toddlers out of the way of the rolling vehicle. She was reportedly taken to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, where she was pronounced dead shortly after she arrived.
The toddlers are one-year-old Adison and two-year-old Emma Jenkins.
“She is truly a hero. She will forever be my kids’ guardian angel,” Lissa Jenkins, the mother of the toddlers, said at the time. “She saved both my daughters’ lives. These are my two kids that I have and both of them could’ve been gone in an instant and she stepped in and took over and did what she knows best to do — and that’s to protect those around her.”
It is unknown how the 1999 Mercedes-Benz SUV began rolling in reverse down the dirt driveway, located off Olde Highway 80 near Los Coches Road.
The Carnegie medal was established more than 100 years ago by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Two Canadians were reportedly the recipients of the award as well. According to Canada’s state-run CBC, Clark Whitecalf, 41, of Gallivan, Saskatchewan, was honored for rescuing a sleeping woman from a burning house in August 2015. Calvin Bradley Stein, 51, of Madoc, Ontario, received a medal for saving a three-year-old girl from being trampled by runaway ponies at a fairground in Tweed, Ont., in July.
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