HomeBensalem TimesLocal woman recognized as hero for coming to endangered baby's rescue

Local woman recognized as hero for coming to endangered baby’s rescue

Christine Dawn King intervened when she saw a father about to throw his daughter off I-95

Good Samaritan: Christine Dawn King, of Bensalem, intervened when she saw a man about to throw his young daughter from a highway overpass. Source: Carnegie Hero Fund Commission

Bensalem’s Christine Dawn King risked her own life to save that of a young girl in 2022. And, if given the opportunity, she wouldn’t hesitate to do so again. 

Such bravery is why, during last Monday’s Bensalem council meeting, King, a caretaker in her early 50s, was recognized by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Formed by Andrew Carnegie in April 1904, the commission recognizes and supports those who perform acts of heroism in civilian life, both in the United States and Canada. 

On July 28, 2022, King was driving on I-95 near the Cottman Avenue exit, when she came upon a disturbingly unexpected scene: a man threatening to toss his 18-month-old daughter over the ledge of the highway overpass, located 40 feet above a concrete parking lot, as the baby’s mother tried and failed to rescue the child from his grasp. 

King could’ve continued on her way and called 9-1-1 from the safety of her car. However, she did much more than that. 

Eric Zahren, president and board chair of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, who was present at the council meeting to share King’s story, said, “She parked, exited her vehicle and advanced to the assailant.” 

Fearlessly, King grabbed the man around the torso to prevent him from dropping the baby, and pleaded with him to hand her over. In response, the man, armed with a concealed handgun, told King that he would shoot her and continued to hold his daughter over the ledge. Courageously, King once again wrapped her arms around his torso, as the mother held onto the baby. 

Police soon arrived and he surrendered the girl to an officer. King then took the child to her vehicle while the father was taken into custody.

“I couldn’t just pass after I saw the baby. And after I seen him trying to throw the baby over, I couldn’t let it go,” King told Action News at the time of the incident.

The assailant, Raheem Murphy, 35, faced numerous charges, including endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault and the kidnapping of the woman and baby, all of which occurred following a domestic argument. 

Well-deserved recognition: Christine Dawn King and her husband were present at the recent Bensalem council meeting. Source: Bensalem Township YouTube

For her selfless and heroic efforts, King accepted the Carnegie Medal, as well as bouquets of flowers, at the council meeting.

Her husband said, “On behalf of my brave and always willing to help wife, we want to take this time to say thanks to the governing body here, as well as the Carnegie group for taking the time to recognize her effort in saving someone’s life. She always says that she would do it again.” 

Carnegie Medal recipients, or their survivors, are eligible for financial considerations, including one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance. To date, more than 10,000 medals and $40 million have been awarded, with the recipients selected from more than 100,000 nominees. Awardees are announced four times a year, following meetings of the commission. 

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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