CANYON COUNTRY : Boy, 17, Honored for Rescuing Woman

A former Canyon High School student was honored Thursday as a hero for jumping into a flood control channel in Santa Clarita and helping a woman to safety after being swept away himself by the raging waters.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced that Mark White, 17, was among 15 people to be honored as heroes. Each will get $2,500 and will be eligible for scholarship programs if they are enrolled in school, said Walter Rutkowski, the commission’s secretary.

White, then a Canyon High senior, was standing at the edge of Sand Canyon Wash in Santa Clarita on Feb. 11, 1992, when he heard a cry for help. Being swept toward him in the swift current was a tiny, white-haired woman named Sally Swanson.


The varsity football player dived into the icy water and grabbed the 54-year-old Swanson. They were pulled downstream about 30 yards before he could reach a shrub and lift both of them to safety.

White now attends Dixie College in St. George, Utah, Rutkowski said.

Millionaire Andrew Carnegie established the commission in 1904 to recognize people in the United States and Canada who risk or lose their lives saving the lives of others and to provide financial help to the heroes and to the dependents of heroes who died trying to rescue others, Rutkowski said.