MIDWAY, Pa. — A 25-year-old college student has received the prestigious Carnegie Medal for saving the life of a truck driver in October 2022.
According to a news release from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, Sgt. David Duffey was driving along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Irwin, Pennsylvania, when he saw a tractor-trailer veer of the highway, collide into a guide rail, concrete barrier and overpass. The rig came to a rest facing the trailer and pointing to the sky.
Duffey, of Midway, Pennsylvania, and a member of the National Guard, hoisted himself through the passenger-side window opening, which had been broken out in the accident, and pulled driver Shune E. Moore, 56, from the cab to the ground.
Duffey and another man pulled Moore about 7 feet away from the truck when an explosion knocked Duffey and the other man to the ground. Flames grew to 15 feet high. Duffey and others dragged Moore farther away to safety. Moore was treated at a hospital for injuries incurred in the accident; Duffey suffered a back injury. No one was burned.
“When I first got there, I couldn’t even recognize the cab. It looked like mangled metal to me,” Duffey said in an interview with the Observer-Reporter. “The cab had been thrown off, it actually flipped around 180 degrees so the front (was) facing the trailer itself. I just remember seeing a line of fire going on the other side of the trailer. I start calling out for the driver, I’m just trying to find him.”
Duffey added that he “knew I had to get him (the driver) out of there.”
Those who are selected for recognition by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission are awarded the Carnegie Medal, and they, or their survivors, become eligible for financial considerations, including one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance. To date, more than 10,000 medals have been awarded, the recipients selected from more than 100,000 nominees.
About 20% of the medals are awarded posthumously. Awardees are announced four times a year, following meetings of the Commission.
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