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Published: Saturday, 10/29/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

1 of 2 dogs missing after crash found

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Volunteers have found one dog that went missing after a fiery rollover crash on the turnpike, although another remains missing.

Before truck driver Corey Wesinger freed himself from the wreckage of his tractor-trailer Thursday, he knocked out a window and gently tossed his Jack Russell terrier mix and chihuahua mix from the cab. But by the time Mr. Wesinger, 37, got himself out, the animals were gone.

Karen Mayhew, a volunteer with Toledo-area animal rescue 4 Paws Sake Inc., said word of the missing pets quickly spread among rescue groups and many people began combing the area around the wreck, which happened a little before 7 a.m. between State Rt. 2 and U.S. Rt. 20 in the turnpike's westbound lane.

"Even after the paramedics had arrived and stabilized whatever injuries he had, he didn't want to go until he found his dogs," said Ms. Mayhew, who spoke with Mr. Wesinger after the crash.

A while later, Ms. Mayhew caught up with a member of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who had spotted Ruby, the Jack Russell. She was able to follow the frightened dog and eventually, with a handful of treats, grab and leash it at the Elizabeth Scott Community Center parking lot.

Ruby was reunited with Mr. Wesinger, who was treated for his injuries at St. Luke's Hospital.

Volunteers are still searching for Bambi, a 17-pound chihuahua and basenji mix. She's wearing a red collar and is said to be very friendly.

Ms. Mayhew said Mr. Wesinger, who is from Wisconsin, stayed at a local hotel last night and was rejoining the search this morning.

If anyone has seen or taken Bambi in, they may call the Toledo Animal Shelter at 419-382-1130. "I told him, even if you have to go we will find this dog if she's to be found," Ms. Mayhew said. The dogs are his regular companions out on the road.

Thursday's crash closed the turnpike from exit 52 to exit 59 for several hours.



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