Molly was in a tragic car accident with her owner John Philippi late Thursday night. Sadly Philippi lost his life in the accident but Molly survived, though initially authorities had no idea she had been in the accident. When state troopers discovered the man’s dog was missing they went above and beyond to find the German shepherd.
Philippi, a 45-year-old Minnesota truck driver, was driving his truck with Molly by his side late Thursday night. Suddenly, his truck tipped on Interstate 94 in Wisconsin and then was hit by another semi. Philippi was ejected from his truck and died.
When State Patrol officers arrived on the scene of the accident they had no idea that Molly had been involved, she was nowhere to be seen. When they contacted Philippi’s family members about the accident one of his nephews asked about Molly. A notice went out to all law enforcement officers in the area to be on the lookout for Molly. One state trooper even went door-to-door at nearby homes to ask if anyone had seen her.
“We wanted to find that dog,” said State Patrol Lt. Jeff Lorentz. “We didn’t want it hit by another vehicle.”
Friday morning the State Patrol office received a tip, someone had seen a German shepherd near an exit. The area was searched but Molly wasn’t found. State Patrol officers didn’t give up though. Later that day, trooper John Vernon started walking the interstate in the area of the crash with some volunteers when he spotted paw prints in the snow near the crash site.
Vernon followed the tracks and found Molly underneath a pine tree trying to stay warm. Vernon called out Molly’s name and the dog walked right to him.
Molly had a 6-inch gash on her leg and she let out a yelp when Vernon touched it. Molly is now staying with Philippi’s relatives while she recovers from her leg wound. Once Molly is healed the family will decide who she will stay with permanently.
The family is incredibly thankful to the extra efforts of the State Patrol officers, especially Vernon. Even the State Patrol office recognizes the extra effort Vernon, who has an affinity for dogs, put into the search.
“I don’t think anybody showed more determination than trooper John Vernon,” said Lorentz.