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Men who saved 2-year-old from drowning in the Catawba River awarded medals

The incident happened Oct. 3, 2020
Michael Byers (left) and D’angelo Jenkins
Michael Byers (left) and D’angelo Jenkins(Provided photo)
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two men are being lauded for their heroism a year after saving a toddler from the Catawba River in Huntersville in 2020. The feat earned the men Carnegie medals from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

A mother, her son, and her partner, D’Angelo Cordero Jenkins, of Rock Hill, S.C., were on a fishing trip in Huntersville on Oct. 3, 2020 when the 2-year-old went into the Catawba River.

Jenkins immediately jumped into the swiftly-flowing river, grabbed the child, but had difficulty swimming back with him.

Michael Byers, of Lexington, heard the mother’s calls for help and also went into the river, took the child from Jenkins, and took him to the boat ramp for safety.

Byers was unable to return to Jenkins to get him out.

The child was treated overnight at a hospital, but Jenkins did not survive.

Established April 15, 1904, by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada. The Commission awards the Carnegie Medal to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

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