Safety-Patrol Members Honored for Acts of Heroism

May 23, 1984 1 min read

On Feb. 8, Deron Spigner, 12, and Ken Wetherington, then 12, of the James E. Stephens Elementary School in Bartow, Fla., saved the life of a 1-year-old baby who had fallen out of, and under, a moving car.

Six days earlier, Robert Bodine, 11, and Chadwick S. Macfie, 12, both of South Daytona Elementary School in South Daytona, Fla., pulled a 12-year-old girl who was walking her bicycle across the street out of the path of a speeding truck.

For these, and five other acts of heroism, 10 elementary-school students have received 1984 School Safety Patrol Lifesaving Medal awards.

The medals were presented last week in Washington by Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole. The American Automobile Association has been awarding the medals since 1949.

The heroic acts of the winners were all attested by “a significant amount of documentation,” including photographs, diagrams, statements of witnesses, and verification by school and law-enforcement officials, said Dean Childs, assistant director of the AAA Traffic Safety Department.

Other students honored last week were:

John M. Aleksa, 11, and Pablo D. Lues, then 11, both of Public School 107 in Flushing, N.Y., who ran into the street to rescue a 5-year-old girl unaware of a swiftly approaching car.

Iliana Cintron, 11, of Public School 26X in the Bronx, N.Y., who pulled a 10-year-old from the path of a speeding car.

Annie L. Kustelski, then 12, of Gilbert Stuart School in Milwaukee, Wis., who held a 7-year-old back from the path of a runaway bus with no driver.

Terezia C. Rauch, then 11, of Glebe Elementary School in Arlington, Va., who pushed a group of children out of the way of a car that was illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Gary J. Thomas, then 10, of Fairhome Elementary School in Lorain, Ohio, who prevented a 10-year-old from being hit by a skidding car.

A version of this article appeared in the May 23, 1984 edition of Education Week as Safety-Patrol Members Honored for Acts of Heroism