ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — A dog is reunited with his family after he went missing for 5 days following a deadly car crash on Interstate 95 in Nash County.
Blitz vanished after the crash that killed his owner 25-year-old Michael McLaughlin.
Troopers say McLaughlin was driving on I-95 near exit 127 when his SUV collided with a tractor trailer and the SUV overturned onto the shoulder of the highway.
McLaughlin’s pregnant fiancée and her 4-year-old son were injured in the crash but are expected to survive.
McLaughlin and his fiancée were driving from their home in Pennsylvania to North Carolina for job interviews at the time of the crash, according to family.
Many who live near the area spent several days looking for Blitz following the crash. He was finally spotted on Sunday in a field on Ricks Road, less than a half-mile from the crash scene.
Early Sunday morning, Jean Wood spotted Blitz in the field while she was out looking for him. She then called Kevin Blow, who also had been looking for Blitz since the crash, to come out and help.
Blow tried to approach Blitz, but the rottweiler would bark and run away whenever he got too close. Blow got on his hands and knees and crawled towards Blitz until he got close enough to throw some food his way.
“He finally came towards me and he got up within 10 feet of me and at that point, he started circling me. I was a little intimated at that point because he’s a huge guy,” said Blow. “I then rubbed him on the head and I had the leash round my wrist and as I was rubbing him on the head I just kind of flipped the leash over, tightened it up and that was it.”
Blow gives all the credit to Wood and several other women who spent countless hours looking for Blitz after the crash.
“After about the third or fourth day I started asking myself if this was going to happen and if we were going to find this dog,” said Blow. “The only reason I didn’t give up and go home was because of Jean, Donna, Paula, Connie and Barbara.”
As they were reuniting with Blitz, McLaughlin’s mother and sister were able to meet and thank the individuals who found Blitz. The family says they’re also grateful for the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Nash County Animal Control and all those who spent time looking for Blitz after the crash.
McLaughlin’s family picked up Blitz at the Nash County Animal Shelter on Wednesday and will be taking him back home to their home in Pennsylvania.
Family members say McLaughlin will be remembered as a funny, hard-working individual who loved his family and his fiancée. He spent six years as a reservist with the Pennsylvania National Guard and completed a one-year deployment in Afghanistan in 2014.