The stories are always heart-breaking, but they always inspire.
Every year the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission honors individuals who risked their lives to an extraordinary degree to save others. Twenty percent of recipients die in the act.
This year Loren Hazen of Kalkaska County’s Orange Township was added to the list of Carnegie Heroes for saving his friend Andrew Killingsworth from drowning in Torch Lake. The 21-year-old Hazen died in the effort.
Hazen was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician who had gone swiming on July 17, 2011 with three friends when Killingsworth got into trouble. His friends tried to help, but it was Hazen who saved him - and died in the process.
His mother Barb Woodhams said the pain is still “astronomical,” but she finds solace in knowing her son lived to help people. “I know he’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said. “That’s what gives me my peace is that he did it his way.”
He died a hero.