Baltimore County Digest


March 15, 2007

Man who saved boy, 2, is honored for heroism

Justin F. Zurilla was picking up his 2-year-old son, Jacob, from day care in Rossville on a May afternoon in 2005 when he carried out an act of heroism, saving the life of another young boy.

His actions that day were recognized yesterday by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, which included the 36-year-old mortgage broker among the 20 recipients of Carnegie Hero medals.

Zurilla, reached last night at his Perry Hall home, said the rescue occurred after he heard a boom and saw, 30 feet from the entrance to Heritage Family Day Care on Rossville Boulevard, a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee overturned and in flames after a two-vehicle crash.

Zurilla said he handed Jacob to a day care staffer and dashed to the Jeep, trying to pry open its crushed doors. Inside was Jayden M. Shird, 2, and his father. Zurilla said he slid into the vehicle on his back through the broken back window and freed Jayden from his car seat. Jayden's father, who was burned, was extricated by firefighters and hospitalized. Jayden was unhurt.

"I'm just glad I was able to be there. With the flames right there, anybody would have done the same thing, I'm sure," Zurilla said.

Zurilla, who has a second son, 8-month-old Drew, with his wife Lauren, met with Jayden's mother and grandmother about a month after the accident. "Jayden's a great little boy. ... It was nice to go and have lunch with those guys. They were just very appreciative," he said.

Carnegie heroes receive a bronze medal and $5,000, an honor recognizing "persons who perform acts of heroism in civilian life."

Nicole Fuller


Fundraiser to benefit equestrians

The Maryland Network for Injured Equestrians will hold a benefit dinner-dance and auction at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Manor Tavern in Monkton.

The event will include dinner, an open bar, live and silent auctions, entertainment, dancing and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $55 each or two for $100 and will be available from Manor Tavern or by mailing requests to the network at MNIE, P.O. Box 296, Jarrettsville 21084.

Information: 443-807-6058.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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