A dog swimming for his life off the Siesta Key coast was rescued by a fisherman kayaking along the Gulf of Mexico this past weekend.
Before anyone could figure out why the dog was in the water, this seemed like a very bizarre incident. In fact, it was the end of a horrific event that included a drunk driver fatally striking the dog’s owner in a hit-and-run that occurred about one mile from the water. The dog’s owner, Donna Chen, was found face down on the pavement by authorities while her dog, Barney, was not in the area.
The suspected driver, Blake Talman, was seen fleeing the scene of another accident when his vehicle, a Nissan Altima, spun out of control. The vehicle hit Chen and Barney, landscaping, a street sign, a telephone line and wooden poles lining an entrance to a church.
Talman and the passenger in his vehicle were taken to a hospital for serious injuries.
The kayaker did not connect the rescue to the accident until the video of the rescue was posted on YouTube.
“Our guess is that [the dog] was so freaked out and traumatized that he just wanted to get as far away from there as possible,” he wrote in the video’s description. “And when he ran out of land, he took to the water.”
The distraught and injured dog was pulled to safety by the kayaker, who now has possession of the dog, who is expected to make a full recovery from the accident. Talman, who is 22, was charged with DUI manslaughter to go along with DUI property damage and personal injury.