Carmen DeGregorio Jr., a true Millville hero, was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was established in April 1904 and awards the Carnegie Medal to 20 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others. In addition, they provide financial assistance for those disabled and the dependants of those killed helping others.
To date, more than 9,000 medals have been awarded. About 20 percent of the medals are awarded posthumously.
* Below is text from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Web Site *
Carmen F. DeGregorio, Jr., died after rescuing Shatora Jenkins-Thomas from assault, Millville, New Jersey, November 27, 2007. Jenkins-Thomas, 24, jumped from a moving car during a domestic dispute with her boyfriend, who was driving, and ran into the parking lot of a nearby convenience store. The boyfriend followed her in the car, caught up with her, and attempted to force her into the car’s trunk.
DeGregorio, 51, towing dispatcher, who was nearby, intervened. A retired police officer, he struggled against the assailant, preventing him from shutting the trunk’s lid on Jenkins-Thomas, and freed her from the trunk. Jenkins-Thomas and DeGregorio fled as the assailant pursued them in the car. At DeGregorio’s urging, Jenkins-Thomas ran to the convenience store and to safety inside while DeGregorio ran in another direction.
The assailant chased DeGregorio and struck him with the car, knocking him to the pavement. The car then crashed into a barrier, and the assailant fled on foot. He was arrested shortly. Jenkins-Thomas sustained abrasions about her body that required hospital treatment. DeGregorio was hospitalized but died two days later of his injuries.