Kemah Boardwalk employee posthumously named Carnegie hero

KTRK logo
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Kemah Boardwalk employee who died trying to save kayaker remembered
"He was the joy of our life." A family is grieving the loss of the Navy veteran and beloved grandfather who gave his life to save a stranger.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (KTRK) -- A Deer Park native who died while trying to save a kayaker in distress last year is one of 15 heroes across North America who have been given what's called the highest honor for civilian heroism.

Todd Riddle was named a Carnegie hero and will be posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Monday.

The award is given quarterly to people who perform extraordinary acts of heroism in the United States and Canada and provides financial help to family of those who died, according to the foundation's website.

RELATED: Kemah Boardwalk worker who died in rescue attempt remembered

Riddle was a 56-year-old who grew up in Deer Park and left behind a wife, daughter, and two granddaughters, and had a grandson on the way.

According to Kemah police, Riddle, who was a maintenance worker at the Kemah Boardwalk, swam about 100 yards out when he spotted a kayaker in trouble. A boat was able to rescue the kayaker as Riddle went under and never resurfaced in the rough waters.

In addition to the Carnegie Medal, Riddle's surviving family will receive a financial grant from the foundation that gives the award.

The fund was established by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1904.

The video above originally aired in September 2019.