National hero award given to Fresno man in 2020 river rescue –

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Fresno man who sacrificed his life in an attempt to save a young girl who fell into the Kings River in August 2020 is being honored with one of the highest civilian honors for his act of heroism.

31-year-old Manjit Singh is one of 16 people named on Monday as recipients of the Carnegie Hero Fund, an award given to those who risked serious injury or death to save others.

Each individual, including Singh, will receive the Carnegie Medal, one of North America’s highest honors for civilian heroism.

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

On August 5, 2020, Manjit Singh, entered the Kings River in Reedley despite not knowing how to swim, to attempt to save the life of 8-year-old Samantha Cruz Pedro.

Officials say Samantha struggled to swim as she was separated from a group of children playing in the river and the swift current carried her downstream. Seeing the struggle, officials say Singh removed and unwrapped a turban he was wearing and extended it away from him as a lifeline as he advanced into the water up to his neck.

Shortly after, he went under the water and onlookers say they lost sight of him. Another girl was removed from the water but she was not seriously injured.

Another man located Samantha and helped get her to first responders on the bank. She was taken to a local hospital and died six days later.

Officials say Singh was ultimately recovered downstream and was brought to the bank unresponsive. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

With this announcement, the Carnegie Medal has been awarded to 10,371 individuals since the inception of the Pittsburgh-based Fund in 1904. Each of the recipients or their survivors will also receive a financial grant, according to officials.

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