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Dog found on Rural Highway Ten Days After Fatal Crash

"Lena" was seen running away from a fatal single-car collision on Highway 139 between Canby and Tule Lake. The community kept looking for her, and finally, ten days later, she was found safe.

Community members in Modoc County kept on the lookout for a missing dog, whose owner died in a fatal single-car collision. Lena was found safe ten days later.

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 1:51 PM

CANBY, Calif. - Modoc County deputies responded to a report of a fatal accident on Highway 139 between Canby and Tulelake more than ten days ago, but were unable to find a pet that had been in the car at the time of the single car collision.

The man who died on the scene was 48 year old Jamey Johnson. A dog collar was found closeby, on the side of the road, and witnesses told deputies they had seen a dog flee from the scene of the fatal crash. 

The deputies could not find the dog, who was named "Lena."  Undersheriff William "Tex" Dowdy told Action News he made fliers he took to the Ag Inspection Station on Highway 139. Word went out on social media, the radio, and the local newspaper. The community responded.

Everyone driving on that highway that knew about the situation kept an eye out for the four year old mixed-breed shepherd, that had been trained as a rescue dog.  A humane society from Klamath Falls loaned the sheriff's department a trap that they checked three to four times a day. The High Plateau Humane Society in Alturas also assisted.

An employee of the U. S. Forest Service, Mike Hinton, saw Lena ten days later off of Highwqay 139, and was able to get her into his vehicle. Her paws were a bit raw, but otherwise she was in good health.

Undersheriff Dowdy told Action News that Jennifer Johnson, sister of the deceased driver, came to Alturas and picked up Lena and took her home to Chilaquin, Oregon to live out her life with her owner's family.

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