Savannah Man Honored for Heroism

Karl Lastinger
Karl Lastinger

Genuine heroism has earned a Savannah BellSouth employee his company's highest honor. Karl Lastinger was awarded BellSouth's Theodore Vail Gold Award for rescuing a woman from a burning wreck on I-95 in 2003. The initial presentation was in June in Atlanta, but BellSouth officials felt it merited more, so the company's Georgia president, Phil Jacobs, came to Savannah yesterday to present the award again in front of Lastinger's coworkers.

"This award was actually established back in 1920 and this is only the third time it's been awarded to an individual, and so it's a tremendous honor and a way for us to recognize his heroism," said Jacobs.

"The only thing I could resolve was to pray," Lastinger recalled of the rescue. "So I started babbling and next thing you know, we've got fire extinguishers and we were able to get the fire down good enough we could get a lot of help and get the girl out."

Lastinger and family stayed in touch and helped out throughout the woman's recovery.

Reported by: Sonny Dixon,