A retired New Jersey police officer who was fatally injured while rescuing a woman from a domestic assault and a delivery driver who saved a family of four from drowning after their raft overturned on the Colorado River are among 20 winners of Carnegie medals for heroism.
The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced the honors Thursday for individuals from the United States and Canada who risked their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
Carmen DeGregorio, 51, of Millville, N.J., intervened when he saw a man trying to kidnap his girlfriend by shoving her into the trunk of a car at a convenience store in 2007.
DeGregorio freed the woman and fought off her boyfriend, Christopher Robinson, who then ran him down in the parking lot.
DeGregorio, a former member of the Millville police force, sustained serious head injuries and died two days later. Robinson later pleaded guilty to murder and attempted kidnapping and is serving 30 years in prison.
Another honoree is Kenneth Goss, 38, a deliveryman who was driving along the Colorado River in Moab, Utah, when he saw an overturned raft and four people in the water in April 2010.
Goss, of Grand Junction, Colo., swam to rescue the victims _ a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old and their parents _ and later was hospitalized for hypothermia.
Carnegie medalists, or their heirs, receive financial grants. More than $33.1 million has been awarded to 9,432 honorees since the fund's inception in 1904.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie was inspired to start the fund after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.