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Esty honors family of Meriden teen who lost his life saving his sister


The bravery and sacrifice of a Meriden teenager was honored with national recognition on Monday morning.

Jay Agli jumped into the Connecticut River to save his sister but lost his own life.

He was 17 and saw that his 19 year-old sister was in trouble. Without thinking about his own safety, he jumped in to save her…and lost his own life as a result.

Related: Body of missing teen recovered in Connecticut River

On Monday morning, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty presented Jay’s mother with the Carnegie Hero Fund Recognition Citation and Bronze Medal. 

Back in June of 2017, Jay was part of a group swimming in the Connecticut River off Haddam Meadows State Park. His sister was swept off a sandbar into the swift current of the river. Jay jumped in to save her. 

A passing boater ended up getting her out of the water, but Jay ended up drowning. His mother fought back tears to say Jay was doing what she always taught him to do.

“That was taking care of his sisters, and that’s what he did until his last breath,” said Jessica Agli, Jay’s mother. 

“Jay did exactly what heroes did. Exactly what we don’t know that we would do. He literally gave his life to save his sister’s,” said Esty. 

That medal was created by the famous industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie back in 1904 to honor people in the U.S. and Canada who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving the lives of others. 

Jay Agli was known as a joyous, energetic young man.

His family was given that medal Monday on what would have been Jay’s 19 bithday.

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