In a new spin on “the dog ate my homework,” a pet is being blamed for a car accident that left Old Clayburn-area residents without power for several hours on Friday night.
A Ford Escape SUV ran into a hydro pole at about 6:45 p.m., shearing off the pole at the base and bringing down the line.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the driver, a 56-year-old woman, was very forthcoming with the cause of the accident: “She blamed the dog.”
The driver said her canine passenger jumped into her lap, and as she was distracted dealing in with the dog, she drove off the road. She went to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
MacDonald said the incident brings up the issue of distracted driving, commonly associated with mobile phones and mp3 players, but a pet that is free to roam in a vehicle are another hazard – whether they wander down to the pedals, can be heard eating something under the seat, or jump on the driver.
In this case, the accident could have been much worse. Serious injuries and even fatalities are not uncommon when vehicles hit poles.
“This is a heads-up for people,” he said.
The distraction problem can be eliminated by pet restraints that are available at pet stores – something MacDonald employed for his dog in the past.
What’s more, he said people should be aware that in an accident a dog that is not restrained can be seriously hurt, or its body could hurt another vehicle occupant if “Sparky becomes a projectile.”
The dog in Friday night’s accident was not seriously injured.
The driver was ticketed.