The Aegis
Harford County

Two Marylanders get Carnegie Hero award for trying to rescue man trapped by flood

Melissa Anne Lehew was swept away while she and her boyfriend, Kyle Bowman, tried to rescue a stranded driver during a 2018 storm.

Two Maryland residents were awarded the Carnegie Hero award Monday for attempting to save a man trapped in his car by a flood in 2018.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission wrote that Melissa Anne Lehew, 34, of Darlington and Kyle Bowman, 31, of Aberdeen were awarded the honor for their attempt to save Daniel E. Samis, 67, of Abingdon, who was stranded in his car during a flood in Bel Air on Aug. 31, 2018.


Lehew and Bowman saw Samis’ vehicle stuck on a flooded section of road, the commission wrote, and waded into the water to try to save him.

Bowman attached a rope to the back of his truck and the two made their way to Samis’ vehicle while holding on to the rope.


Lehew slipped and ultimately drowned after she was swept downstream. Samis’ car was swept away by the flood and his body was found a short time later.

The awards go to “individuals ... who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others,” according to the commission’s website.

Bowman survived and told The Baltimore Sun last year that Lehew was a recovering alcoholic who, while having spent time in jail, had found purpose through religion and had been looking to rebuild her life after losing custody of her children.