Black chow lost in fatal accident found by paramedic

August 30, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

The black Chow named Blue who had been wandering lost after the Tuesday morning accident on Interstate 8 was found by El Centro Fire Department paramedic Jim Payne on Wednesday evening.

Blue should be reunited with his 66-year-old owner, James Mervin Austin of Bonita, by the end of the week.

Austin's wife, 71-year-old Betty June Austin, died in the accident, after the truck in which Austins and their dog were riding collided into a tractor-trailer rig jackknifed on Interstate 8.

In the aftermath of the accident, Blue disappeared.

According to the El Centro Fire Department, he was found yesterday because a woman called the department after reading Wednesday's edition of the Imperial Valley Press and told firefighters she had seen the dog.

Payne, who had taken it upon himself to find Blue, was contacted and left from his house on his own time and started driving around the area where the woman had seen Blue.


When Payne found the dog he noticed Blue was suffering from a head injury.

Payne took the dog to a local veterinarian and the dog's injuries were treated, according to the department.

Austin is recuperating from a shoulder injury in a San Diego hospital but should be reunited with his dog by the end of the week.

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