Chilliwack woman receives hero medal for trying to save wheelchair user from oncoming train

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      A Fraser Valley woman has received a hero award for her selfless effort, that left her with life-changing injuries, to save a disabled man in danger.

      In the evening on May 26, 2018, 40-year-old Matthew Jarvis, a pedestrian on a motorized wheelchair, was crossing the railway in the 9000 block of Broadway Street in Chilliwack when he became stuck in the tracks.

      While he was trapped there, crossing arms began to close the roadway to stop traffic for an approaching train.

      Without a second thought, 44-year-old Julie Callaghan from Chilliwack, and another female motorist leapt into action to try and help free the wheelchair and to get it out of the way of the oncoming locomotive.

      They continued their struggle to free Jarvis until the train approached. While the other woman moved away in time, the train collided with Jarvis and Callaghan.

      Unfortunately, Callaghan’s legs were seriously injured and she sustained life-altering damage to her right hand while Jarvis died from fatal injuries.

      Chilliwack RCMP announced that today (December 13), Carnegie Hero Fund Commission president Eric Zahren presented Callaghan with the Carnegie Hero Fund Award to recognize her courage despite the risk to her own safety.

      “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,” Zahren stated in a news release. “We are honored to recognize Julie’s strength and bravery, her selflessness and resulting sacrifice.”

      The award from the commission, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, honours recipients throughout Canada and the U.S. who take extraordinary risks while attempting to save others.

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