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Broken Arrow man awarded Carnegie Medal for heroic actions

Posted: 10:16 PM, Jun 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-17 23:16:42-04

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- A Broken Arrow resident is honored for his heroic actions, when he jumped into an icy pond to try and save a man who fell underwater back in January of 2018.

"God had me there at that time for that reason, for some reason that’s greater than myself," said Kali Allen, receiving the Carnegie Medal.

Allen recounts January 4, 2018 when a woman stopped him on his UPS route on West Deer Valley Road in Catoosa. She told him a man fell in the icy pond while skating.

"I’m going out there to see if there’s anything I could do, I step on the ice and it’s kind of cracking, and I’m not digging it I wasn’t going to go out there," said Allen.

But then, he saw 55-year-old Jeffrey McElroy go completely underwater.

"The instincts kick in, I run and jump in and tried to see if I could find him, locate him," said Allen.

Allen says he spent a few minutes underwater in the pond, but couldn't find Allen. When he came up for air, he realized he needed help getting out.

"I think it was like the seventh attempt when it got about six feet where I had to bust the ice to get the rope, wrap it around my body, have them pull me out," said Allen.

McElroy drowned that night, but Allen felt like it was his second chance at life.

"I wasn’t meant to save him, I was meant to save somebody else and it starts with me, and what I leave behind for my children," said Allen.

The Hero Fund, established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, has awarded the Carnegie Medal to more than 10,000 individuals in recognition of their outstanding heroism.

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