View Full Version : Watch out for falling dogs

21-01-2006, 05:35:15
Man dies after dog crashes into car

Black Labrador falls off overpass

January 20, 2006

Charles Jetchick was fatally hurt when a dog hit his windshield.

An 81-year-old Livonia man died Thursday morning, five days after a black Labrador fell from the Schoolcraft overpass at I-96 west, crashing through his car windshield, according to Michigan State Police Sgt. Michael Shaw.

Police are investigating how the 60- to 70-pound dog got off the Schoolcraft overpass in Livonia and landed on Charles Jetchick's teal 1994 Ford Thunderbird around 12:50 p.m. Saturday. Shaw said the dog was dead when troopers arrived at the scene.

The man's sole passenger, his son Bill Jetchick, suffered only a cut on his right hand, requiring five stitches.

"As we were approaching the overpass, I was looking at him," Bill Jetchick recalled. "The next thing I know ... the windshield caved in and part of it was in my lap. I looked over at my dad sitting in his seat 90% unconscious. His eyes were open and his hands weren't on the steering wheel. I reached over to try to steer the car and get over to the side of the road. The cars were still going pretty fast. ... I managed to reach over and get his foot off the accelerator and get it over to the shoulder."

Bill Jetchick said they were on their way to his sister's house in West Bloomfield to help her paint when their quick trip turned "bizarre."

"I was looking to see if a piece of concrete had fallen from the overpass in the front seat," Bill Jetchick said. "Then I looked in the back seat and there was a black Lab there and lots of blood."

Father and son were taken to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia. On Monday, the family decided to take Charles Jetchick off the ventilator, said his daughter Jeannie LaCroix of West Bloomfield. The trauma had caused bleeding in his brain.

"We've been in contact with the people who own the dog, and we feel comfortable that it is accurate the dog got loose and the dog just ran wild and did something very unusual," she said. "I feel for the people because I know how much they're hurting, and we hold no grudges. ... I'm an animal lover, like my dad is, so I feel for them."

She would not give the names of the dog's owners.

Shaw said he'd never seen anything like this during his 11 years in law enforcement. "We've seen people, naturally, tires, rocks, chains, bottles, whatever kids can find to throw off," he said.

A Pennsylvania native, Charles Jetchick moved to metro Detroit for work, ultimately getting a job as a washer-dryer repairman for Sears. He was employed by Sears for four decades until his retirement in 1986. He continued to live in Livonia, where he'd moved in 1952, though he wintered in Arizona for 14 years.

During his retirement years, he enjoyed playing golf and visiting a casino to play keno and poker.

Charles Jetchick, a member of the St. Edith parish in Livonia, is survived by four children and four grandchildren. His wife, the former Margaret Abernathy, died in 1984.

The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Harry J. Will Funeral Home in Livonia.

23-01-2006, 13:41:50
"I managed to reach over and get his foot off the accelerator and get it over to the shoulder"


is contortionism a recognised first-aid practice???