Teen earns ‘Carnegie’ medal

Published 5:47 am Friday, May 5, 2017

The Bogalusa City Council meeting Tuesday started with a very special ceremony, when Mayor Wendy Perrette presented Leyton Page with a Carnegie Medal in recognition of his act of “outstanding civilian heroism” in 2015. Wyatt Lobrano, District Director for U.S. Rep. Dr. Ralph Abraham, then presented Page with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol building.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1904 after a mine disaster that claimed 181 lives, including those of an engineer and a miner who went into the mine in attempt to rescue others. There have been 9,893 Carnegie Medals awarded since.

The medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives “to an extraordinary degree” while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. The Commission announced Page’s award last September.

Page was 16 when he helped save Jacob Morris, 8, and John Morgan, 6, from drowning in Bush on March 28, 2015. The two young brothers where thrown into the Bogue Chitto River after their flat-bottomed boat drifted over a low-head dam and capsized. The boys were wearing life jackets and were trapped in the boil of water at the base of the dam.

The local high school student saw their predicament and took his own flat-bottomed boat to the scene and entered the boil. Page attempted to lift one of the boys to his boat, but lost his grip as the backwash pulled the boat to the dam, where it also capsized and submerged him.

When he surfaced, Page used his boat as a buoy and maneuvered himself to the brothers, who grabbed on to his life jacket. He held on to the boys and to his overturned boat, which he kept between them and the dam to blunt the water’s strong flow. Others responding by boat pulled all three out and took them to safety on the bank. Morris and Morgan received hospital treatment for hypothermia, but they both recovered.

Both Perrette and Lobrano commended Page and said they were proud of the young man.