Dog fetches police for victims in I-89 crash

  • Police say a dog helped them locate the driver and passenger in a pickup truck that crashed off Interstate 89 in White River Junction, Vt., on Jan. 3, 2022. (New Hampshire State Police photograph) New Hampshire State Police photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/4/2022 5:40:11 PM
Modified: 1/5/2022 6:02:25 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Shiloh shepherd is being credited with alerting law enforcement officers to a rollover crash he had escaped from Monday night near the junction of interstates 89 and 91 in White River Junction, allowing two injured people to be transported for medical treatment.

Lebanon police officers responded to a call about a dog running on the northbound side of I-89 around 10 p.m. and spotted the female Shiloh shepherd, named Tinsley, on the bridge over the Connecticut River, said Lt. Bureau Commander Richard Norris.

“While they’re trying to get the dog to safety here, they see the motor vehicle accident, and that’s when the officers, the Lebanon officers, end up heading to that accident until the Vermont State Police arrive,” Norris said. “As Lebanon Police and New Hampshire State Police were trying to get the dog, that’s when they saw the rollover.”

Tinsley did not appear to be injured in the crash, according to a Facebook post from the New Hampshire State Police.

Vermont State Police reported that the vehicle, a 2019 Ford pickup, was found 40 to 50 feet off a ramp at the interchange. It was operated by Cameron Laundry, 31, of North Hartland, who was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. His passenger was 40-year-old Justin Connors. A second dog, of an unknown breed, was also found running around the scene of the crash, said Vermont State Police spokesman Adam Silverman.

Both Laundry and Connors were ejected from the truck and hypothermic when officers found them. Temperatures were in the single-digits Monday night, according to weather reports.

“The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and more information will be released when available,” Silverman wrote in an email.

There were no serious road conditions reported at the time of the crash, Norris said. At that time of the night, the interstate tends to have fewer travelers.

“You never know how an animal is going to react to a stressful situation and in this particular case the animal obviously, given the temperature of late last night, the animal’s action obviously allowed these people ... to be located and transported for treatment,” Norris said. “Had the animal not been there to lead the officers, it’s very well this rollover might not have been located until sometime in the daytime hours.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.

CORRECTION: Tinsley, the dog who alerted police to the crash, is a Shiloh shepherd and a good girl. A previous version of this story incorrectly identified her breed and gender.




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