Late Manjit Singh gets Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest civilian honor


Manjit drowned while trying to save an 8-year-old girl in Reedley, California’s Kings River.

Our Bureau

Fresno, CA

On August 5, 2020, Singh, a 31-year-old farmer, drowned while attempting to save an 8-year-old girl in Reedley, California’s Kings River. Samantha Cruz Pedro, a young girl, was dragged downstream by the strong current after becoming separated from a group of children playing in the river. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission named the late Manjit Singh from Fresno, California as the recipient of the Carnegie Medal, which is North America’s highest civilian honor.

Despite not knowing how to swim, Singh dived into the river after hearing appeals to save the girl. He untied and removed a turban he was wearing as he waded into the water up to his neck, stretching it away from him as a lifeline.

While onlookers lost sight of Singh as he submerged under water, Pedro was rushed to the hospital, where she died six days later. Singh was ultimately recovered downstream and was brought to the bank unresponsive. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The award instituted in 1904 aims to recognize and support those who perform acts of heroism in civilian life in the United States and Canada. Since its establishment, 10,371 people have received the Carnegie Medal along with a monetary stipend given to them or their surviving family members.

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