FELTON PALMER "PETE" BRASHIER, JR., 74, was
born on March 30, 1922, lifelong resident of Ranger,
TX & died Nov. 24, 1996, in an automobile accident
near San Angelo, TX. He was a graduate of Ranger High
School and Baylor University in 1943. Mr. Brashier
served as a gunnery instructor in the U.S. Navy Air
Corp. Mr. Brashier joined his father & grandfather
in Ranger Furniture Exchange in 1946 and worked there
until his retirement in 1989. He married Betty Hudgins
in Wharton, TX, in March of 1946. They celebrated
their 50th Anniversary in 1996.
Men honored for icy rescue of Ranger residents
By Roy A. Jones II (Senior Staff Writer) (04/05/1997)
RANGER - Four men who waded into icy water to rescue four
elderly Ranger residents from drowning in their overturned
car have been honored by the Texas Department of Public
James Vaughn, David Gentry and Martin DeLaGarza, all of
Bronte, and Bruce Vaughn of Midland received the DPS
The rarely-given award is the civilian equivalent of the
Director's Citation which is given to active duty troopers
who perform acts above and beyond the regular call of duty,
a DPS official said. It is the highest such award given
The men were nominated for the award by DPS Trooper Roy
Blair of Robert Lee because of their heroic actions last
About 10:30 a.m. that day, the five Ranger residents were
northbound on U.S. 277 in Coke County under extremely
hazardous weather conditions, Blair said. The temperature
was below freezing, snow was blowing, and the road was snow
packed with patches of ice.
Five miles south of Bronte, the car driven by Felton Palmer
Brashier, 74, slid out of control, crossed the southbound
lane, struck a culvert and dropped about 10 feet into a
creek. The vehicle landed upside down in about two feet of
Brashier apparently died instantly from crash injuries. His
four passengers survived the crash but were hanging upside
down from their safety belts and in danger of drowning as
the frigid water ran into the car.
DeLaGarza was on his way to San Angelo and the Vaughns and
Gentry were returning from feeding livestock when they came
up on the accident scene. Without regard for their own safety,
they immediately entered the water and cut or loosened the
seat belts of the victims, and carried them to safety.
Brashier's wife, Betty, was found unconscious and not breathing.
Bruce Vaughn performed CPR on her until she began breathing.
She was admitted to Shannon Hospital in San Angelo in serious
condition, but survived.
Elva Larson, 94, also was seriously injured, but also survived.
Less seriously injured were Dorothy Beames, 72, and Robert
Major Lee Smith of Midland, regional DPS commander, presented
the awards to the four men earlier this week. Had they not
come along when they did and braved the frigid water the
accident would likely have claimed five lives instead of
one, he said.
The four men said they didn't consider themselves heroes,
but that they just "happened to be there and did what we