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High school heroes honored for saving life nearly one year ago

Jan 17, 2020, 1:23 PM
Two West High students, Grant Dunkley (left) and Felix Ortiz (right), are being credited with savin...
Two West High students, Grant Dunkley (left) and Felix Ortiz (right), are being credited with saving Assistant Attorney General David Carlson's life in a terrible car crash one year ago. (PHOTO: Derek Petersen, KSL TV)
(PHOTO: Derek Petersen, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Attorney General honored two high school heroes Friday for saving Assistant Attorney General David Carlson almost a year ago. At a school assembly Friday afternoon, the two students were awarded certificates as they formally met the man they saved.

While talking about the wreck that nearly killed Carlson, West High senior Felix Ortiz is cool and collected — which he claims is the exact opposite of how he felt in the moment.

“It was kind of nerve-wracking, just like everything coming down on us,” he explained.

High school heroes perform live-saving CPR

About one year ago, Ortiz, who is the West High class president, was driving on 6th West with his friend Grant Dunkley when they witnessed another car lose control and flip.

Little did they know, David Carlson was driving when he suffered a medical emergency and blacked out. The medical flare-up and crash were so severe that Carlson said he didn’t remember anything that happened for three months after the wreck.

After seeing the car flip, the two teenagers knew they needed to do something — but weren’t exactly sure what.

“It was just a pretty stressful situation, really,” Dunkley said. “We both didn’t really know what to do, I kind of just followed Felix and we tried to do what we could.”

Thankfully, one of the two had some prior training.

“I’ve taken a CPR class before, just because my parents enrolled me in it,” Ortiz explains.

So at that time, they pulled over their vehicle and Ortiz ran to the scene of the accident.

He performed life-saving CPR until first responders arrived to the scene.

Carlson’s recovery was slow and, until Friday, he never had the opportunity to meet and thank the two high schoolers who saved his life.

Honored during school assembly

At a school assembly, the three shared hugs and handshakes in a hallway before entering the gymnasium in front of the entire school.

“I’m just really grateful,” Carlson said.

At the event, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes presented the high school heroes with certificates of appreciation.

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