NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A brave puppy was back at home Wednesday night after a walk with her owner turned into a deadly situation.
Almost a week ago a vehicle hit and killed her owner as the two crossed a street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Despite being injured, the dog managed to run home and alert her family, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported exclusively.
She’s not even a year old, but “Stormy” the pit bull puppy mix has already been through something no one would wish to see in a lifetime.
Last Thursday at around 7 p.m., Frank Delcolvenaere took the 11-month-old on her nightly walk near 4th Avenue and 101st Street when police say a 19-year-old driving a black Mercedes struck Delcovenaire. Police say he didn’t have the walk signal, but witnesses said the driver was speeding. Witnesses found the 66-year-old’s lifeless body feet away from the scene.
“The dog ran away. It ran down the block over there barking and crying,” witness Steve Paul said.
Delcolvenaere’s wife of 33 years, Demetra, was at home cooking dinner.
“I didn’t know she was out there. Michael came home and he comes in and he goes why is the dog outside,” a distraught Demetra said. “I know she wanted to come home and let us know. She had a concussion. She had bruised lungs.”
Stormy had been in intensive care at the vet for a week and on Wednesday afternoon finally came home. She got stitches in her head and won’t be able to walk for a few weeks due to a broken pelvis. Stormy and Frank were inseparable.
“She liked to cuddle. He liked to cuddle. They’d watch TV together,” Demetra said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. I loved him so much.”
Now the family has retained an attorney and plans to file a notice of claim with the city, which is required before filing a lawsuit.
Records show that last year a pedestrian was injured at the same intersection. Residents say the spot, which is in the shadows of the Verrazzano Bridge, has long been a problem area.
Residents told Rozner the barriers need to be changed regularly because cars driving erratically are constantly running over them.
“I don’t stand at the corner. I stand over here, far away from the edge,” Bay Ridge resident Ziah Centino said.
Records show the vehicle involved in this accident had four speed camera violations since August. The driver has not been charged, but Frank’s family says something needs to change, whether it’s speed bumps or a traffic light put in the area.
While things will never be the same, the family says having Stormy back brings them some comfort. They’ll need each other for the long haul.
The city Law Department declined to comment. In a statement, the Department of Transportation said it will, “evaluate the design of the street and the circumstances of the crash in order to improve the safety of that location.”