9-year-old hero receives highest civilian award from Governor Henry McMaster

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A 9-year-old Sumter boy who was called a hero after coming to the rescue of his neighbor back in March was honored with a "once in a lifetime achievement."

Malachi Coffey was bestowed with the Order of the Silver Crescent by Governor Henry McMaster on Wednesday. The Order of the Silver Crescent is the highest civilian award significant contributions, leadership, volunteerism, and lifelong influence within a region or community.

Back on March 10, the 9-year-old saved his neighbor's life after a car fell on top of him. Allen Clemmons said he was attempting to remove the transmission on his Mustang convertible in his backyard when the car slid off the blocks and jack holding it up and fell onto him.

Clemmons called out for help for over an hour but no one responded.

"I asked God to help me, to give me one more holler and send an angel by my way," Clemmons said. "The last holler before I give up."

After letting out that last holler, Clemmons was shocked to see 9-year-old Malachi running from a nearby yard.

"I was playing outside and I heard someone yelling," Malachi said. "He was saying something like he was stuck but I didn't know what he meant."

When Malachi got close enough to see what had happened, he immediately grabbed a nearby jack and with the help of Clemmons guiding him, was able to get it back under the car and raise the car off of Clemmons.

"I don't think I would have survived another 30 minutes," Clemmons said. "It was getting really hard to breathe. He is truly my guardian angel."

"I was so happy to see him because the first time I didn't see him when he was jacking the car up," Clemmons said. "When I saw him come through those doors I tell you what it was a blessing to meet somebody as small as that that could save my life."

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