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Did the dog do it?

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Injuries and Fatalities on Friday, January 25, 2013.

Forget about Beyonce and the national anthem. The social media in Escambia County is buzzing over the case of a man who was killed when a dog apparently stepped on the gas pedal of a van, running the man down. The Florida Highway Patrol is still trying to determine if that is really what happened, but lots of people have their own theories. This much is known for sure: On January 14, a 68 year-old man and his 56 year-old companion arrived at home and the man got out of the van to open the property gates. The family dog, apparently overjoyed to see everyone coming home, ran to the vehicle and the woman passenger opened the door. In bounds the hound who then allegedly stepped on the gas pedal, propelling the still-in-gear vehicle forward and crushing the victim.

This is a large dog, a Boxer, and certainly heavy enough to press the pedal down. Most of the local social media posts are caring and sympathetic to the victim who was well-known and well-liked. A few doubters in Florida and elsewhere think the idea of a dog landing on the accelerator is a little far-fetched. Police did not arrest or charge the woman but that has not stopped some people from speculating on a darker version of events

Accidents caused by pets are commonplace across the nation. Usually they involve a driver who allows an animal to roam around the vehicle or sit on his lap, interfering with the ability to control it. This particular accident has drawn world-wide attention. A quick Google search returns over 205,000 listings. The story has made the news across the United States and overseas. It is important to remember that this is a tragic case in which a man was killed. The Florida Highway Patrol will have the final say but this is a good time to remember that unrestrained pets in vehicles can pose a significant safety hazard to people inside the car and out.

Source:, “News that pet dog ran over and killed Florida man suspicious to some,” Charisse Van Horn, Jan. 17, 2013

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