LSU student posthumously honored after giving his life to save group of kids

LSU student Layne Gravois, 21, of Gray, La., died after trying to rescue a boy from the waters...
LSU student Layne Gravois, 21, of Gray, La., died after trying to rescue a boy from the waters of Miramar Beach, Fla. on April 8, 2021.(Facebook)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An LSU student who died helping to save two children from drowning during a spring break trip in Florida was honored with a prestigious award for his bravery.

“It’s unfortunate that the saddest day of our lives, is also the proudest day of our lives,” said Lenny Gravois, Layne’s father.

Layne Gravois, 21, and a group of friends were on vacation in April 2021 when two kids got pulled in by a rip current in Miramar Beach, Fla.

Gravois and about 60 to 70 people formed a human chain to help save the kids, but the chain broke.

Gravois drowned and died, but his efforts were not in vain. The kids were saved.

Dexter Troxclair was there and saw it all unfold.

“It still doesn’t feel real to any of us, and I don’t think it ever will,” Troxclair said. “Two kids he didn’t know, and it was no hesitation to run in that water and try to save them.”

On Tuesday, Layne was posthumously given the Carnegie Hero Award for his sacrifice, which is one of the highest awards for heroism in the country. Layne’s parents and two siblings accepted the award on his behalf.  “He was just the best, and we’re so in awe that he was chosen as a recipient,” said Kristi Gravois, Layne’s mother. ”The Carnegie Medal, that’s exactly what it exemplifies is that to take your life in extraordinary danger, and give your life for someone else, and that’s exactly what he did,” Troxclair said. But his sacrifice made an even bigger impact his parents learned. Layne was an organ donor, and parts of his eyes were given to two other strangers. “Someone is seeing the world through his eyes, and that brings joy too,” said Lenny Gravois.

The Carnegie Medal was created in honor of industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1904. There were 18 people who received the honor this year, including 55-year-old Kim McGrady. He was the other person who died during the same rescue efforts.

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