Mr. Eric Zahren and Julie Callaghan

Chilliwack: A local hero injured while attempting to rescue a disabled pedestrian has received the Carnegie Hero Fund Award.

Presented to Julie Callaghan of Chilliwack, by Carnegie Hero Fund Commission President Eric Zahren, during a ceremony hosted by the RCMP at the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD) on December 13, the award recognizes the incredible courage of Julie Callaghan during an attempt to save the life of a disabled pedestrian at a railway crossing in Chilliwack.

On the evening of May 26, 2018 a pedestrian operating a motorized wheel chair became caught on the tracks while crossing the railway in the 9000-block of Broadway Street.  As the crossing arms closed to stop traffic for an approaching train Julie Callaghan and another valiant motorist scrambled onto the track in an attempt to remove the wheelchair from the path of the locomotive.

The rescuers continued their efforts until the engine of the closing locomotive collided with them.  The pedestrian suffered fatal injuries while Callaghan sustained serious injuries to her legs and life altering damage to her right hand.

“We are honored to present Julie Callaghan with the Carnegie Medal for attempting to rescue Matthew Jarvis from being struck by a train in 2018 in Chilliwack.  She saw Mr. Jarvis stuck in a perilous situation and impulsively took action, despite the extraordinary danger to herself,” says Mr. Zahren. “She also offered hope and comfort to Mr. Jarvis, who in his final moments, was not left alone, but with the very best of humanity at his side.  We are honored to recognize Julie’s strength and bravery, her selflessness and resulting sacrifice.”

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.