Victim's dog missing after major crash on I-10 found dead

Dog ran from scene of crash as good Samaritans helped man


BALDWIN, Fla. – The dog who ran off from a crash on I-10 has been found dead.

Garyl Chidester was headed from South Carolina to his house in Crestview Sunday when he got into a crash on I-10 and his dog, Rusty, ran off.

Chidester, who has owned his Florida house since 2003 and was headed back after retirement, was traveling west in a Dodge 1500 pickup truck when a Ford pickup truck driven by 33-year-old Tony Crawford hit his truck from behind.

"We always take a dog with us. We were headed home," he said. "I just happened to look up in my rearview mirror and I saw a truck coming very fast at me. We went flying up over the guardrail. When we landed, dirt flipped up over (the) windshield."

A fire started on the driver's side, but good Samaritans sprang into action to help.

"I was reaching back and getting my dog," Chidester said. "He was scared. He was upset not knowing what was going on. So while I'm trying to get him, he bit me."

Chidester said as a man was helping him get out of the truck, he released Rusty and the dog ran off.
"I yelled at them to go get my dog," Chidester said.

An ambulance arrived to take him and his daughter to the hospital.

"They released us and we got here about 5:30, 5:45 this morning," Chidester said. "We got here at dawn. We got up and went to look for Rusty. We drove down I-10 and didn't find anything."

News4Jax received several calls from viewers about a dog by the side of the road. We confirmed with Chidester that Rusty had been hit and killed on the highway.