BEATRICE – An Elkhorn auto dealership sales representative was recognized Monday by Governor Pete Ricketts for his efforts that saved two lives in an interstate crash in north Lincoln, more than two years ago.

Frank Axiotes, a sales representative for Woodhouse Auto group was driving with his family from Lincoln back to Omaha, when they witnessed a crash where a truck pinned a car against an interstate barrier near North 27th Street.

Axiotes was credited with stopping, running to the burning car, smashing out a window and pulling two people with the help of another man, to safety. Nine-year-old Lucas Daly was removed from a rear seat, and 21-year-old Madison Daly was pulled from the driver’s seat where she was pinned, just before the vehicle became engulfed in flames.

"I'm just Frank. I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I'm an uncle...a co-worker. It's just something that happened in a day. We were able to walk away from it. I don't think I'm a superhero....I was just somebody who was in the right place, at the right time."

Axiotes, who sustained injuries to his hand, was recognized as one of 17 Carnegie Hero Fund Commission honorees. He was nominated for the award by Nebraska State Patrol Lieutenant, Jason Stahl. NSP Superintendent, Colonel John Bolduc said Axiotes, during the September 25th, 2020 accident…acted without regard to his own safety.

"When you take action based on something that happens right in front of you without regard for your own safety and you do a heroic act like this, this is really the very definition of hero. This award is very well deserved. The Daly family would really love to join us today, but Lucas is in school studying hard, and Maddie is off in western Nebraska pursuing her career in the health care field. But, they have sent their congratulations to Frank and their eternal gratitude for his actions that saved the lives of these two young people."

Governor Pete Ricketts presented Axiotes with the Carnegie Medal.  "Frank is truly a hero for putting himself at risk, to be able to help somebody else, out."

Axiotes, his wife Shelley and another son, Zack attended the medal presentation during a Monday news conference. The award is given to civilians who risk extreme danger to give life-saving assistance.