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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gov. Bevin Makes Carnegie Hero Medal Presentations

Alexandria man among two honored with historic award

Gov. Matt Bevin today hosted a special ceremony at the Kentucky State Capitol to present two distinguished Kentuckians, Lori Doppelheuer Kearney of Maysville (posthumously) and Lou Scharold of Alexandria, with the Carnegie Hero Medal.

Established by industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1904, this award recognizes individuals who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree in attempting to save others. Since its inception, 159 Kentuckians have earned this honor.

“While bittersweet, it is an honor and privilege to recognize Kentucky heroes like Lou Scharold and the family of Lori Kearney,” said Gov. Bevin. “These are powerful stories for all of us, and we are thankful for their heroism.”

"They said you deserve a medal for helping that man out of the truck. I said well, whatever you want to do I don't care. I'd be more than glad to take it," said Scharold.

Lou Scharold, 72, saved Rumpke truck driver Brian Ashcraft after his vehicle was struck nearly head-on by a pickup truck traveling the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 27 in Campbell County on April 25, 2016.

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Scharold was heading home on Highway 27 and noticed a truck driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes.

He screamed at the driver, to no avail. That pickup smashed head-on into a Rumpke garbage truck and exploded.

Despite intense heat, Scharold reached through the broken-out windshield of the refuse truck, grasped Ashcraft by the arm, and led him away from the burning vehicle to safety.

"He (Ashcraft) looked like he was confused or dazed or something like that. He asked me to get him out. I said yeah, I'll get you out,” Scharold told Local 12.

RELATED: Fatal Accident in Alexandria 

The driver of truck that caused the accident did not make it. Scharold said he ran to get him too, but it was too late, the driver was dead inside his burning truck.

"I said a little prayer and walked away. That was the hard part. I think of him lying there,” said Scharold. “That was the bad part. Sitting there watching that thing burn knowing he was in there.”

The other winner of the Carnegie Hero Award was Lori Doppelheuer Kearney, 35.

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She died attempting to save her sons Christopher Kearney (age 10), Eagan Hargis (age 3) and Kieran Hargis (age 20 months) from a fire at their Maysville home on Oct. 20, 2015. After being awoken by the fire, Lori helped four first-floor occupants of her house escape. She then headed upstairs through dense smoke in an attempt to rescue her children on the second floor. Lori was found on the floor of the younger boys’ bedroom, cradling Kieran, with Eagan and Christopher lying nearby. All four had died of smoke inhalation.

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