San Jose Teen Honored as Hero For Yosemite Rescue

Carnegie Medal goes to Alec Smith, 17

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013  |  Updated 9:26 AM PDT
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KCRA

Would you jump into this river to save a stranger? Alec Smith did.

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Alec Smith is no ordinary high school student in San Jose.

The Leigh High senior is a hero.

For his quick actions that saved a boy from "certain death" in Yosemite National Park, Smith, 17, will receive the prestigious Carnegie Medal, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission made Smith one of 77 honorees nationwide for risking his own life to save a 9-year old on April 9, the newspaper reported.

He had hiked up the popular Mist Trail in Yosemite's valley when the boy fell into Merced River -- and was moving quickly towards the edge of the 317-foot waterfall.

Alec jumped over a three-foot guardrail and into the river -- no more than 20 feet away from dropping over the edge of the waterfall himself -- and "snagged the child" while hanging onto a rock, the newspaper reported.

The amazing feat saved the child from the river, which killed three people in 2011.

The medal comes with a $5,000 fellowship, the newspaper reported.
 

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