20-year-old Brampton truck driver Harmanjeet Singh Gill receives prestigious civilian heroism medal

HARMANJEET Singh Gill, a 20-year-old truck driver from Brampton, Ontario, is one of 17 people who last month were selected to receive the Carnegie Medal, the highest honor for civilian heroism in the U.S. and Canada for risking their lives for others in life-threatening peril.

Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the 116 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, more than $42 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance. A total of 10,202 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904.

The accident scene.

According to the commission’s website, Gill “was driving Aug. 29, 2018, in Brampton when he saw a violent crash in which an SUV struck several vehicles and landed on its driver’s side a few feet from a house. Large flames burned at the vehicle’s rear, and Gill responded to the scene.

“Gill extended his head and arms through the car’s sunroof and pulled one of the three men inside to safety. Gill returned to the vehicle and dragged a second man to safety. Returning to the car to remove the third man, Gill had difficulty. With the help of a teen who also responded to the scene, Gill broke the sunroof to create a larger opening. They then pulled the third man to safety.

“The car was shortly engulfed in flames, which spread to another car and impinged on the house.”

Peel Regional Police had also acknowledged Gill’s heroism on June 20, 2019.

Peel Regional Police said: “Harmanjeet did not hesitate; His selflessness and commitment to save the trapped men’s lives exude genuine empathy at humanity’s highest level. Peel Regional Police would like to share our sincere gratitude to Mr. Harmanjeet Singh Gill, whose brave act demonstrates what A Safer Community Together truly means.”