The California Highway Patrol is in need of some information in order to solve a Santa Cruz County case. However, a terrier dog was able to communicate one thing to authorities investigating an apparent hit-and-run accident near Wilder Ranch State Park, the terrier did not abandon his bicycle-riding companion.
The vehicle and driver believed responsible for striking the bicyclist did not wait for state patrol officers at the site. The small dog was next to the fatally injured bicyclist and was a steadfast signal for help through a long night.
The mixed-breed dog and the body of the unidentified man, who appeared to be in his 50s, were found by a passerby in a low, partially-obscured area off Highway 1 near Coast Road.
The coroner believes the fatality took place sometime during the previous night between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The body's discovery was made mid-morning on Friday, possibly more than 12 hours after the accident.
A painted, black bicycle and a crate were located near the body along the northbound highway. The evidence offered state patrol officers clues about the victim's last moments. Investigators think the dog had been riding in the crate attached to the bike until the accident.
Investigators informed the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter about the canine survivor. A shelter official took custody of the dog and examined him. The terrier mix remained at the side of the accident victim and did not seem to be hurt.
Broken car glass and debris collected by investigators helped determine that the hit and run vehicle was most likely an older-model sport utility vehicle or sedan. The evidence found indicated the missing vehicle sustained front-end damage and might be green in color.
CHP is enlisting the help of the public to solve the case, requesting any witnesses to step forward.
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel "In California hit-and-run, dog refused to leave dead owner," Jesscia Pasko, May 4, 2012