NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — A man who died while saving the life of a teenager at McConnells Mills State Park was honored today by state police for his courageous actions.

Christopher Bach, Joshua Rader and the late Don Spillane were awarded the highest civilian honor given by Pennsylvania State Police, the Outstanding Citizenship Award.

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“It’s not often you get the chance to actually see and meet people who actually stepped up to the plate in a time of need and helped out their fellow man without any hesitation,” said Capt. Byron Locke, of the state police.

There moment of valor came on May 14, 2010, that’s when 17-year-old Megan McCune fell off of Kildoo waterfall in McConnells Mills State Park. She was critically injured.

Bach, Rader and Spillane were flagged down by one of McCune’s friends. Without hesitation, Spillane went first to try and help her.

“Don, having two daughters, all he could think was to help another,” said Bach.

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Then, tragedy struck. On his way to save a life, Spillane ended up giving his life. He slipped and fell 30 feet to his death.

His wife, Donna, accepted his certificate posthumously today.

Undaunted by the enormous risk, Bach and Rader headed down the rock wall and steep trail to help a friend and try to save a stranger.

While Spillane was gone, they were able to save McCune.

“I know he would do it again if he had to,” said Bach.

Spillane’s wife said that while she misses her husband very much she is proud of his last heroic act.

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McConnells Mills State Park
Pennsylvania State Police
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