Vermont

‘A Miracle!' Hero Dog Leads Rescuers to Owner Thrown From Truck During Crash on I-89

Tinsley, a Shiloh Shepherd, would enjoy a venison dinner as a reward

NBC Universal, Inc. A dog helped save her owner’s life after alerting police to a dangerous crash on an interstate highway near the New Hampshire-Vermont border.

A man from Vermont is crediting his loyal dog with lending a hand — or make that, a paw — in helping save her owner’s life following a nasty crash.

“It’s honestly remarkable,” Cam Laundry of North Hartland said of what his dog, Tinsley, did late Monday night. “It’s a miracle!”

Laundry crashed his pickup Monday night where Interstates 89 and 91 meet, in Hartford. He is now facing a drunk driving charge, police said late Tuesday.

In a post shared widely on Facebook, New Hampshire State Police said the driver was thrown from the truck, and was injured.

Laundry told NECN and NBC10 Boston in an interview Tuesday that he was knocked out when the truck rolled and he was ejected.

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt, Vermont State Police said.

When he came to, Laundry said Tinsley was there, with a New Hampshire State Trooper and police officers from Lebanon, who said they found Cam suffering from hypothermia.

Tinsley is a Shiloh Shepherd, and is just over a year old, Laundry said.

“She’s my little guardian angel, you know?” Laundry said of his dog, whom he described as his constant co-pilot in his truck.

Lebanon’s police chief said Tuesday his department received emergency calls about a dog walking on the bridge heading into Vermont.

Tinsley just wouldn’t be corralled, Chief Phillip Roberts explained, not until she seemingly pointed the first responders north — to the crash site.

“We’ve had, you know, a lot of amazing stories with our trained K-9s and stuff, but not for just a household pet to lead you down that road and play a role in saving some lives,” Chief Roberts said, describing how he cannot recall encountering a situation like this before.

Ambulance crews from Hartford took Laundry and his passenger, who was also injured, to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, according to the Hartford Fire Department.

Vermont State Police identified the passenger as Justin Connors, 40.

Connors is expected to be fine in time, Laundry said, but he does have injuries to nurse, namely one to his leg, the driver said.

The passenger was still awaiting discharge from the hospital Tuesday night, according to a Vermont State Police press release about the crash issued following the broadcast and original publication of NECN and NBC10 Boston’s news story about the crash.

That release described the passenger’s injuries as serious, and Laundry’s as minor.

Laundry expressed remorse that his friend had a dog in the car, too. The driver revealed to NECN and NBC10 Boston that the other dog was hit on the interstate after the crash.

The Vermont State Police press release said the second dog was a bulldog, who was found dead the morning after the crash.

State troopers investigating the crash said late Tuesday night that Laundry provided an evidentiary blood sample at the hospital. Laundry was cited to appear in court in White River Junction in mid-February to face a charge of driving under the influence, a responding trooper wrote in the late Tuesday press release.

Other charges are pending, the trooper wrote.

Laundry acknowledged in an interview with NECN and NBC10 Boston that he did have some drinks earlier in the evening, but he added that he didn’t believe it was too much.

“It definitely was a wake-up call,” Laundry said in the interview, in which he also noted he was very glad the outcome wasn’t worse for him or his passenger.

Laundry wished his friend well in his recovery and reemphasized his sadness over the loss of the bulldog.

As for Tinsley, whose owner described her as “quite remarkable,” she was going to be spoiled with a big venison dinner as a reward — and nonstop gratitude from her family.

“I’m just thankful she’s always with me,” Cam Laundry said of the dog who truly is this man’s best friend. “Everybody loves Tinsley!”