Local girl honored with Carnegie Medal for heroism - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local girl honored with Carnegie Medal for heroism

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) — A 10-year-old East County girl who died while saving a toddler from being hit by a runaway vehicle on a sloping driveway earlier this year, was named as a posthumous recipient of a Carnegie Medal for heroism on Tuesday.  

Kiera Vera Larsen was one of 21 people given the award from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, and one of four who died while saving, or trying to save, someone else.  

Authorities said Kiera was playing in her front yard in the 13400 block of the Highway 8 Business Route shortly after 5 p.m. on Feb. 22 when a parked 1999 Mercedes-Benz began rolling in reverse down a sloping driveway, likely because another child had inadvertently shifted its transmission out of gear.  

Kiera ran behind the vehicle and pushed 2-year-old Emmah Gusich out of the way before being run over, according to the California Highway Patrol.  

Paramedics took her to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.  

Emmah only suffered some scrapes, according to Carnegie.  

Kiera's father's heart is still heavy with grief, but he is grateful for the recognition of her heroic final act. 

"Words can't even explain it. Proud. Honored," said Hans Larsen. "Just wish she could be here to accept it herself. But, it is great there are organizations out there to honor people who do heroic things to save other people... It's just tragic it had to be Kiera." 

The medal, established more than 100 years ago by the famous industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, is given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Recipients or their families receive the medal and a financial grant.

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