Current Nominees


Mr. Clinton Beck


Assistant Starter, who pulls two small children from burning auto,
nominated for RTCA’s White Horse Award.

      Assistant starter Clinton Beck, who officials credit with saving the lives of two children he pulled from a burning auto, has been nominated to Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s 2006 White Horse Award

      On May 3, Beck finished his job on the starting gate at Pimlico in Baltimore and was driving north on Liberty Road when a speeding motorcycle passed his car and seconds later crashed into the side of a car pulling out of a driveway.

      The motorcycle gas tank ruptured, igniting it. Beck and others rushed to the scene to find two adults in the car’s front seat and in the back two children, Kaiyen Taylor, 4, and Cameron Butler, 10 months.


      According to Baltimore County Police and Fire Department reports, the car quickly ignited. Beck said all but he and Michael Loiero of nearby Jarrettsville, ran for cover. Loiero began extracting the older couple in the front and Beck with the back doors locked, broke a back window with his elbow.

     “The older child was screaming ‘I don’t want to die’” Beck said. “The ceiling was on fire and I could hear gas bubble in the car’s tank and see vapors going over the motorcycle fire. I grabbed the car seat and tried to pull the whole thing out, but it wouldn’t come. I remembered I had a pocketknife in my jeans so I finally cut the belt and grabbed a kid in each arm. As I’m running the gas tank exploded and the force knocked me down.”

     The children were taken to the hospital, but were uninjured according to police. Loiero was uninjured and paramedics removed glass from Beck’s arm at the scene. The motorcycle driver died instantly.

     The fire department report termed the pair’s actions “truly heroic” and said they were “responsible for saving the lives of the two infants.” It will present Beck and Loiero with a “Commendation for Bravery” next March, said fire department spokesperson Elise Armacost. Beck, who is based in Vinton, LA., said RTCA Chaplain Les Riggs led him in a prayer to become a Christian only days before the rescue and he credits that and the fact that he has two small children with his actions.”

    “The children’s aunt and uncle (in the front seat) came up and gave me a hug and one of the medical workers told me I was a hero,” Beck remembers. “I don’t know if I could have done anything but run like the rest, if I didn’t have faith in God. I didn’t think much about what I was doing at the time, but I do remember thinking, how could I look at myself in the mirror if I ran. The little girl had terror in her eyes and I kept thinking about my own two kids.”