LEXINGTON — The car was upside down in a water filled ditch and there were two passengers trapped, the car had been rolled by the flood water over the road. Deputy Aaron Pelzer was on scene and made a choice to rescue the two who were trapped.

On Tuesday, July 9 Central Nebraska area woke up to flood waters inundating homes, basements, roads, ditches. Several inches of rain had fallen the night before and conditions on the roads were treacherous.

Around 6:30 a.m. Shelly Masoner, of Eustis, and her daughter were traveling on Highway 21 south of Cozad when their vehicle stuck flood waters over the road and rolled. It landed on its roof in a ditch filled with water.

Dawson County Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Pelzer was one of the first law enforcement officers on scene, said Sheriff Ken Moody. Pelzer assessed the situation and then radioed he was taking off his equipment to get into the water and get Masoner and her daughter out of the vehicle.

Cozad Assistant Fire Chief Gary Banzhaf said by the time Cozad Fire and Rescue arrived on scene, Pelzer had already freed to the two from the vehicle and they were on the roadway.

Shelly Masoner was in serious condition and she was transported to Cozad Community Hosptial and later to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

Masoner died from her injuries the next day. Masoner’s daughter sustained minor injuries from the accident.

Pelzer was honored Thursday, Aug. 8 with a plaque, Moody said Pelzer, “Had gone above and beyond the call of duty,” on July 9.

Moody said sometimes law enforcement can be a thankless task, but said Pelzer had risked his life to save those of others. He described Pelzer as a credit to the agency.

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