SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 10-year-old Hudson boy who saved his younger sister from drowning in the Big Sioux River will be awarded a Carnegie Medal for his act of extraordinary heroism, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission said.

Ricky Lee Sneve, his sister Chevelle Sneve and other family members were at the Big Sioux River near Hudson on June 12, 2021. Ricky dove into the water after his sister stepped or fell into water that was three feet deep.

According to the Carnegie Hero Fund, Ricky pushed Chevelle back toward the bank where she could exit the water to safety, but in doing so, Ricky entered an area of the river where an undertow flowed into water 12 feet deep. 

Three boys and Ricky’s stepfather entered the water but two boys immediately struggled and the stepfather and the older boy helped them to the riverbank. The Carnegie Hero Fund said Ricky had been swept away and submerged.

Family friend Toni Dumas said in a June 14, 2021, KELOLAND News story that Ricky “was just amazing. He was outgoing, rambunctious, and I mean, he’s a typical boy, but loved to help people out. I mean, him and his mom are like best friends, and he’d do anything for her. He loved hanging out with his dad. He just was a great kid.”

Sneve is one of 18 civilians to receive the Carnegie Medal, including eight other children.