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July 7, 2015 3:30 PM, EDT

Truck Driver Receives Carnegie Medal for Heroism

Blackburn (center), Herndon (left) by John Sommers II for TT
Truck driver Clinton Blackburn of Morehead, Kentucky, has been named one of 18 winners of the Carnegie Medal, awarded to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

The award is presented each quarter by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Honorees receive a financial grant.

Earlier this year, Blackburn, 44, was honored as the Goodyear Highway Hero at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Blackburn is credited with saving the life of Darrell Herndon, a jailer from Spencer County, Kentucky, after Blackburn subdued a prisoner who was strangling Herndon along a Kentucky highway in March 2014.

Herndon was transporting a prisoner who had escaped his handcuffs and was strangling Herndon from the back seat. Herndon stopped the car on an interstate median and opened his door, attracting the attention of Blackburn, who pulled over and began trying to free the officer from the prisoner.

During the struggle, the prisoner managed to grab Herndon’s gun, but Blackburn fought the prisoner for control of the gun, eventually turning it around to point at the prisoner. Herndon and Blackburn finally subdued the prisoner.

The fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Since its inception in 1904, $37.2 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance to 9,775 honorees.

“I just thank the good Lord for putting me where he did,” Blackburn said after winning the Goodyear award.