TOWN ‘N’ COUNTRY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Town ‘n’ Country family’s dog slipped out of its backyard, darted into the road and was hit by a UPS truck.
While grieving for their pet, what’s really making the folks angry is that the UPS driver didn’t stop.
It was March 31, about 10 a.m., when a UPS delivery truck rolled down Camino Villa Boulevard in Hillsborough County.
A six-year-old dog named Champ runs into its path.
Owner Janette Rickard was at work when she received a panicked call from her daughter.
“And she goes, ‘mom, he’s not breathing.’ I was like ‘what do you mean he’s not breathing?'” recalled Ms. Rickard.
Champ got loose, ran to the front of the house, then darted into the road.
Ms. Rickard’s daughter and husband rushed the dog to the veterinarian. By the time Ms. Rickard arrived, he was gone.
“I think that was the hardest part, it was because it was so quick and so traumatic,” said Ms. Rickard. What was harder was telling their younger daughter.
“My husband rarely chokes up, but when he had to tell her, he was like crying full on from the school back to the veterinary office,” she explained.
Janette Rickard said Champ loved being loved. She and he had a special bond.
“He was a dog that slept next to me every night. I used to hear him snore,” she said.
She contacted UPS to report that the driver did not stop.
“And then that’s when the lady told me, she goes ‘it was probably Fed Ex,'” recalled Janette.
Video from a neighbor’s security camera confirms it was a UPS truck.
A UPS supervisor told her since the dog was off leash, the company has no liability.
Ms. Rickard provided the company with a copy of the video.
Supervisor Mike Jones told Target 8 he took a look at the video and what Ms. Rickard described, he didn’t see.
Kim Krebs of UPS Public Relations said the company takes this type of situation very seriously. It did conduct an investigation. Information relayed to Ms. Krebs states that supervisor Mike Jones did apologize to Janette Rickard and he explained the leash law to her.
Ms. Krebs said she is told that the video version that Mr. Jones reviewed had an obstruction and he could not clearly see what happened.
He also relayed the dog may have been struck by another passing vehicle.
We saw no other vehicle on the video.
According to Ms. Krebs, the driver was debriefed and told the company he did not remember hitting anything.
“I apologize if the interpretation from the local employee was that he was being insensitive,” said Ms. Krebs. “I and we totally understand that she is very frustrated and it is heartbreaking.”
Sensors on the truck do not indicate that it struck any large object.
Champ weighed about 26 pounds.
“It is like losing a family member,” Ms. Rickard stated. “I said ‘I do understand that he was off leash, I understand that, but I just don’t understand why your driver didn’t stop,’ and he was just like, ‘the driver [said] he didn’t hit anything.'”
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