Nebraska man who rescued family from fiery crash honored with Carnegie Medal

Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska State Patrol recognized Frank Axiotes of Elkhorn with the Carnegie Medal, awarded by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:37 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:16 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A Nebraska man credited with saving a family from a fiery crash was given a special honor on Monday.

Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska State Patrol recognized Frank Axiotes of Elkhorn with the Carnegie Medal, awarded by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. The Carnegie Medal is North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism.

On Sept. 25, 2020, Axiotes witnessed a three-vehicle crash while driving on I-80 in Lincoln. He pulled over and ran to the crash scene to help as fire began to spread among the vehicles.

On Sept. 25, 2020, Fred Axiotes witnessed a three-vehicle crash while driving on I-80 in Lincoln. He pulled over and ran to the crash scene to help.

Axiotes pulled a 9-year-old boy out of the back of a Chevrolet Trailblazer to safety. He then worked with another passerby to break a window to rescue the boy’s 21-year-old sister. Four people were transported from the crash site to hospitals with only minor injuries.

“Frank’s initiative and courageous action helped save lives,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “He’s a true Nebraska hero and well deserving of the Carnegie Medal. Stepping up to help a neighbor in need is something Nebraskans do every day. Frank’s bravery is a fantastic example of the spirit of Nebraskans.”

“We are thrilled for Frank for receive this honor,” said NSP Colonel Bolduc. “His heroic actions made the difference in this case and they serve as inspiration for us all. We can all make a difference for others if we’re willing to act when others need help, just like Frank did for Maddie and Lucas.”

Over 10,000 individuals have received a Carnegie Medal since its inception in 1904. The award is given to civilians who risk extreme danger in an attempt to give life-saving assistance. To learn more about the award, click here.

Last September, the Nebraska State Patrol honored Frank Axiotes with its citizen Public Service Award for his heroism.

From left to right: Col. Bolduc, Lt. Stahl, Frank Axiotes, Shelley Axiotes, Zack Axiotes, and...
From left to right: Col. Bolduc, Lt. Stahl, Frank Axiotes, Shelley Axiotes, Zack Axiotes, and Governor Ricketts(Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts)