Dog and Pet Owner Lose Lives Hit by Cars Just Minutes Apart

After a man and his dog were killed on the side of the road, neighbors want city officials to make changes and ensure public safety.


The Strassel family from Royalton, N.Y., never though that Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 would be the last day they would see Robert Strassel, father of three children, and their Golden retriever named Ellie alive, but sadly, both family members were killed by two separate cars early that Monday morning.

Photo courtesy of the Strassel family.
Photo courtesy of the Strassel family.

According to WIVB in the darkness of dawn Ellie was hit by a car first and killed instantly outside the family home on Akron Road. The car that hit the dog did not stop and as Robert attempted to remove the body of his four-legged best friend, another car drove by hitting the pet owner and killing him too.

Speed was not a factor in the unfortunate death of both Strassel family members. Official reports identify lack of light (sunlight and/or a light posts) as the main contributor in both accidents. Local residents know the area is a dangerous spot, because anyone walking on the side of the road is difficult to spot.

Outside the Strassel home. Photo courtesy of the Strassel family.
Outside the Strassel home. Photo courtesy of the Strassel family.

Deborah, Robert’s wife, remembers the last words her husband said that Monday morning. “When he left the house with a shovel he told me it was going to be a very bad, bad, bad, day.” Now she takes comfort thinking that her husband is with the family pet they all loved.

“Rob was hit. He went with Ellie,” she said. “So, I think, right away, Ellie and Rob were together immediately.”

Neighbors plan to start a petition collecting signatures to have the local government officials do something to reduce vehicular speed on the road or provided better lighting.

We are sorry Robert and Ellie left in such tragic way, and as the Strassel family, we believe they are together in heaven.

147 thoughts on “Dog and Pet Owner Lose Lives Hit by Cars Just Minutes Apart

  1. My deepest and most sincere condolences to the victims family and friends. This is an absolute tragedy.

    I’m also quite upset because this senseless double loss was definitely avoidable..
    Can’t help thinking, about the people who fully know how this rural country road is quite dangerous before the sun rises and after the sun goes down. Motorists speeding back n forth on the two lane blacktop. A weekday morning people on their way to work , school –
    Why on earth would anyone in their right frame of mind allow for their beloved dog to go outside all alone when clearly there’s a dangerous roadway smack in front of their home. Why ?
    Yes my comment and question sound harsh to some.
    But GDI …. I don’t understand why or how people do this. Can’t put all the blame on officials , residents & pet owners are responsible too and need to be held accountable first and foremost.
    Now two beautiful loving souls are gone forever.
    As for the driver who committed the Hit n Run after running over the precious dog …he or she WILL have damage to their vehicle. They knew they hit something , yet kept on going. Scum. I’m hoping they’ll have horrible nightmares every single night until they come forward to admit that they accidentally hit the dog.
    People need to protect their family pets , works both ways. Officials need to table discussions to ensure their communities are safe .
    RIP … God Bless

  2. As terribly morbid as this may sound it is considering the reality of it all striking a nerve so close to home.
    There’s an eerie coincidence about this photo that brings tears to my eyes every time I see it.
    Here’s man with his best friend rolling around on the living room floor happily with smiles stretching far and wide having a good ole time.
    During their final day and moment together they were hardly joyful nor laughing with each other. Instead one was left crying whilst embracing his furry best friend ever so tightly who was now dead. After each had just been run down separately by two cars , left only to die side by side , face down.
    RIP Best friends.
    With an abundance of God’s blessings

  3. I drive roads like this every day and night. There is no good reason to hit anything or anybody, other than inattention. These roads are frequented by all kinds of animals. Look for them and drive appropriately!!!

  4. All of this could have been avoided by having the dog on a leash, a lead, fenced in yard or electric parameter fence.

    The dog was going to get hit eventually. Unfortunately the owner suffered the same fate because he walked into the road to collect his friend.

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