UPDATE: Dog found after going missing in Augusta Canal accident

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email


Friday, Aug. 3, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 has just received word that Bo, the dog lost during the accident, has been found.

Our reporter talked to the man who found Bo.

"I actually thought I was hallucinating for a second and just saw him standing on the other side of the water and said, well, I can swim or find a way to cross the bridge," Jason Tyler said. "Luck was on my side, God, I don't know. A little bit of both probably."

Tyler said he had to track Bo for about three hours after the initial sighting.

Bo's owner said they were ecstatic to have him back and that he was found only 20 feet from the accident site.

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It was a scary scene on Interstate 20 Thursday morning after a truck plunged into the Augusta Canal, destroying an 80-foot portion of the guardrail.

The driver made it out of the truck and swam to shore. He says he doesn't remember what happened.

As wrecker crews slowly pulled the truck out of the water, you could barely see the truck below the surface.

Luckily, the driver inside was able to get out and swim to shore, suffering only cuts and bruises. Witnesses tell deputies they saw the driver veer toward the right on the interstate before plunging into the water around 7:45 a.m.

"We've almost never had a truck go off the canal, then two in 10 months," said Steve Rossmoine with the Richmond County dive team.

This was an eerily similar scene for Rossmoine, who was at another accident back in September when a semi truck rode the guardrail and plummeted into the canal. The driver in that crash died.

"This one is a different truck in one piece. Last year, the gentlemen was trapped inside. This one driver was lucky enough to get out," Rossmoine said.

The truck in Thursday's crash was carrying car parts and did not spill any diesel or hazardous material into the canal. The driver's 12-year-old dog, Bo, was also inside the truck. He has not been found.

Bo was wearing a collar. If you spot him near the canal, you can call the Augusta Animal Services at (706) 790-6836. The wife of the driver says they are offering a $1,000 reward to the person who finds Bo.

It took nearly four hours to pull up the truck.

"A lot can go wrong. Our first concern was about the dive team being underwater because it's murky, they can't see," said Eric Martin with C&A Mobile Repair.

After 17 minutes underwater, the dive team was able to hook up chains, secure the truck and anchor it to a stable spot on the bridge.

"If the cable breaks, it'll cut you in half," Rossmoine said.

"It's a loaded truck, 80,000 pounds and plus weight of water, it'll crush someone," Martin said.

The process was made easier this time because of lessons learned from that fatal accident 10 months ago.

"It does concern me -- something needs to be looked into why this is happening," Rossmoine said.

The guardrail will have to be repaired once again. In the meantime, the Georgia Department of Transportation will inspect the guardrail.

Augusta Utilities was also out at the scene monitoring the water in the Augusta Canal. It is the source of drinking water for many homes in the city.

Initial report:

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The driver of a tractor trailer who crashed into the Augusta Canal is said to be doing OK.

Crews pulled tractor trailer from the Augusta Canal after it went off the interstate and into the water below.

The crash happened along I-20 just before the South Carolina line around 7:45 a.m. on Thursday.

Richmond County deputies tell News 12 the truck driver was heading east when a witness says the semi veered off to the right. It busted through the guardrail and sank in the water.

Crews say the driver was able to get out of the truck and swam to safety. He was taken to GHS Medical Center with minor cuts and bruises.

The semi was carrying car parts but not any hazardous materials. The crash took out 80 feet of guardrail.

Right now, there is no word on what caused the driver to crash through the guardrail.

There was a dog inside the truck, who is still missing at this time.

Crews work to pull the tractor trailer out from the Augusta Canal.

Crew members stand where the truck went off the bridge, taking out the guardrail.

The tractor trailer underwater in the Augusta Canal.

Traffic starts to back up along I-20 after the accident.

An aerial view of the accident scene along I-20 from Cpt. Troy Elwell with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

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