I Was Teaching Dog To Drive: Washington Man In High-Speed Crash
May 22, 2020
SEATTLE, WA — With questions that must be on the mind of almost everyone who has heard about it, let’s trace this back to the moment Sunday when a Lakewood, Washington, man decided to let his pit bull drive a car:
What the actual, ahem, pup?
Could the dog’s feet even reach the pedals?
The dog could use more driver training, as it turns out.
The Washington State Patrol said the dog was behind the wheel in two crashes that occurred during a chase that reached speeds of up to 109 mph on Interstate 5 through King and Snohomish counties. No one was injured in either of the collisions.
The driver of the car, which was eventually stopped using spike strips, explained he was just trying to teach his dog to drive, Trooper Heather Axtman, a public information officer for the Washington State Patrol, told CNN.
“I wish I could make this up,” Axtman said. “I’ve been a trooper for almost 12 years and, wow, I’ve never heard this excuse. I’ve been in a lot of high-speed chases. I’ve stopped a lot of cars, and never have I gotten an excuse that they were teaching their dog how to drive.”
Troopers told news station KOMO the 1996 Buick hit two vehicles at the Boeing access exit in Seattle shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday, then fled north on I-5.
Troopers received multiple calls about someone driving “absolutely recklessly” through King and Snohomish counties, Axtman said.
“He was driving very erratically,” she told CNN. “So erratically that multiple people called 911.”
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One of the troopers pursuing the car realized as he attempted to corner it that a pit bull was in the driver’s seat as the suspect steered, Axtman said. The suspect drove onto Snohomish County’s Centennial Trail, which is normally crowded with pedestrians and bicyclists but was vacant under Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s coronavirus stay-at-home order.
“The fact that there wasn’t anybody on the trail is nothing shy of miraculous,” Axtman told CNN. “We are very thankful.”
The owner, who hasn’t been identified, was jailed on $8,500 bail and faces charges of reckless endangerment, hit and run, driving under the influence and felony eluding, the state patrol said.
The dog behind the wheel of the car wasn’t charged, of course, but was taken to a local animal shelter.