PITTSBURGH, DEC. 27 -- Andrew "Skeet" Moss was having trouble waking up one morning last March until he heard screams from behind his suburban Atlanta house.
Moss, 30, leapt from his bed, threw on a pair of jeans and ran outside to find 19-year-old Kelley Gibbs in the creek at the edge of his yard. Her car had been swept into the surging creek from a flooded roadway.
Using a flashlight to see through the darkness, Moss located Gibbs and waded 300 feet from shore to reach her. Bracing himself against a tree, he grabbed her arm and pulled her from water about 15 feet deep.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today honored Moss and 15 others for saving or trying to save lives. Four of those recognized, including a 9-year-old boy, died performing the heroic acts.
"I was scared to death the whole time. The current was real strong and I wasn't exactly sure where I was," Moss said by telephone.
"I just didn't want to do the wrong thing. I didn't want to die myself and I didn't want her to die," he said. "You'd kick yourself in the butt for the rest of your life for something that could have been preventable."
The Pittsburgh-based commission honors people for placing themselves at risk on behalf of others. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie founded the commission in 1904 after a mine accident near Pittsburgh killed 178 people, including some who tried to save others.
The awards are given six times a year. More than 100 heroes were recognized in 1990 and 7,511 have been honored since the commission was established. Each recipient or survivor receives a Carnegie Medal and $2,500.
Also recognized today were:
-- Jonathon E.J. Swenson, 9, of Sumner, Wash., who died after attempting to save his aunt and two cousins from a burning house Feb. 4, 1989. When the house caught fire, Jonathon ran upstairs to alert the others. He was overcome by smoke and died two days later.
-- Clayton M. Cutter, 31, a forestry technician who died trying to save three teenage campers and a counselor from drowning Feb. 19 at Mammoth Lakes, Calif. The campers, their counselor, another counselor and a firefighter also drowned in the icy lake.
-- Patrick M. Maloney, 27, of Chicago, a paramedic who saved a man from a knife assault by an enraged motorist at the scene of an auto accident Dec. 31, 1988.
-- Jessie R. Moore, 29, of Rocky Mount, N.C., a laborer who died Aug. 5, 1989, trying to save an 8-year-old girl from drowning in the Atlantic at Beaufort, N.C. The girl, who could not swim and had fallen off an inner tube, survived.
-- John E. Moore, 43, of Dunn, N.C., and Ronnie Gene Woodall, 36, of Benson, N.C., who helped rescue a 26-year-old woman from a burning car Dec. 5, 1989, after a highway accident. The woman was hospitalized for 25 days with third-degree burns.
-- Robert W. Lemon, 40, and Timothy L. Donoghue, 43, of Ojai, Calif., who pulled a semiconscious woman from a burning car after a highway accident Feb. 5. The 19-year-old woman was trapped in the car, which became engulfed in flames shortly after the two pulled her out. She recovered from second-degree burns after nine days in the hospital.
-- John A. McDaniel, 26, of Summerville, Ga., a cotton mill laborer who saved an 11-year-old boy from drowning June 11, 1989, in a river in Fort Payne, Ala. McDaniel jumped into the river, grabbed the boy and held him at the brink of 60-foot-high falls until the two were pulled from the water by others.
-- Dwayne E. Hofus, 24, of Youngstown, Ohio, who saved a 2-year-old girl and her 3-year-old sister from the second floor of their burning house June 10, 1989. Hofus, a cook, saw the flames through a kitchen window, ran to the house and found one of the girls and carried her outside. He then called for help and returned to the house, where he learned the other girl was still inside. Hofus reentered the house and saved her as well.
-- Lewis Dale Collins, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., an electrical worker who rescued an 18-year-old woman trapped in a burning car following a March 2 highway accident. The woman has recovered from serious burns.
-- Darryl W. Lastiwka, 29, of Thorold, Ontario, a carpenter who rescued a 21-year-old woman from her burning apartment Nov. 30, 1989. Lastiwka, a neighbor, crawled on the floor under smoke, found the unconscious woman on the kitchen floor and carried her to safety.
-- Rickey Lee Dewey, 27, of Lexington, Neb., a farmhand who died Aug. 6, 1989, trying to save his 19-year-old cousin from drowning. The younger man, who could not swim, had fallen into a canal from a bridge. Dewey swam to him but became submerged several times in a struggle. The cousin was pulled to safety by a bystander.
-- Jeffrey Allen Quigley, 28, of Hampton, Va., a service station attendant who pulled an 83-year-old man from his burning house April 19, 1989. Quigley entered the house and crawled 30 feet down a smoke-filled hall to where he heard the other man's voice.
-- Kurt Ernst, 31, of Rochester, N.Y., a meter reader who saved a 2-year-old boy and his 6-month-old sister from burning Dec. 2, 1989. Ernst saw the flames as he was driving past the family's apartment and stopped. He crawled through a window, found the boy and handed him to another person outside. Ernst returned to find the girl and her mother on the floor. He carried the infant to the window. Arriving firefighters saved the mother and another child.