Watkins Glen: Honorary crew member - Officer Moracco

Officer Stephen Moracco Honored as an 'Incredible Hero' At Watkins Glen Mooresville, NC (August 4, 2009) -- Several Ithaca residents and officials earned the title of "hero" when they rescued a woman and her dog after the pair fell through the...

Officer Stephen Moracco Honored as an 'Incredible Hero' At Watkins Glen

Mooresville, NC (August 4, 2009) -- Several Ithaca residents and officials earned the title of "hero" when they rescued a woman and her dog after the pair fell through the ice on the morning of March 7, 2009.

Iva Lesky, a retired teacher, was walking her dogs, Tovar and Tcheera, along the reservoir at Six Mile Creek in Ithaca. After letting her dogs off of their leashes, Tovar went on the ice and within seconds was in the water. After calling for help, Lesky realized no one was around and made an easy decision.

"I thought. Could I live with myself if I just stood there and watched him die?'" she said. "It was not a hard choice at all." Lesky said she got on her stomach and shimmied on the ice to her dog. When she finally reached him, she said everything went blank.

It was then that 13 year-old Christian Schuepdach was passing by and saw someone in the water. He immediately called 911. While waiting for officials to arrive, passer-bys began to gather around and try to pull Lesky to safety.

Investigator Michael DuBrava and Officer Stephen Moracco were the first officials on the scene. By this time, Lesky was able to pull herself out of the water and shimmy her way back to shore. However, her dog, Tovar was still trapped in the water.

It was Officer Moracco and another Ithaca resident that were finally able to rescue Tovar from the frigid water. The two tied leashes together and Moracco lowered himself into the water. When the dog was safely in his arms, the other gentleman hoisted them out.

Lesky was sent to Cayuga Medical Center and kept for two days for observations. Both she and Tovar have made a full recovery. She said she couldn't be more grateful for everyone's help for her and Tovar.

"It was very inspiring to see how people were willing to sacrifice themselves for somebody else and do what was needed," she said. "It made me feel good about this community, and everybody really did a fabulous job."

Officer Stephen Moracco will be honored as this week's 'Incredible Hero' at Watkins Glen for his heroic act.

The 'Incredible Heroes' are extended an invite to attend the NASCAR Nationwide Series race as guests of CJM Racing and the America's Incredible Pizza Company. Each hero receives a plaque in recognition of their heroism and they spend a VIP day at the race track.

The Incredible Heroes campaign will run throughout the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. If you know of an 'Incredible Hero' and would like to nominate him or her please email: heroes@incrediblepizza.com for consideration or check out www.incrediblepizza.com/contests/incredibleheroes.

-credit: cjmracing

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Series NASCAR XFINITY