Sep 22, 2010 8:24 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
A couple could do nothing but watch as their car with their dog in it rolled off of a cliff at Oregon's Crater Lake National Park and tumbled more than a thousand feet to the water below.
They thought their dog didn't have a chance to survive, but what happened next was nothing short of miraculous.
Hallie, a one-and-a-half year old Akita/Dingo mix walked away virtually unscathed.
"I saw black Passat slowly, slowly, slowly coming to the edge and starting to roll," recalls Shauna McHugh. It did a complete 180, it did a half moon arc."
"She went over half way down spinning and flipping and finally the door just exploded out and we see her get launched," explains Tobias Swanson. "It was the most helpless feeling in the world."
The car had settled into the water and the resilient albino Akita somehow emerged from the wreckage, then started charging up hill to reunite with her family.
When she reached the top of the caldera, Hallie was battered and bloody.
McHugh and Swanson say in the face of such utter loss they were overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.
"There was a couple from Colorado that handed us cash," McHugh says. "They said, 'You have nothing, please take it'."
An elderly couple even drove them three hours back to their home in Ashland.
Once home, their first visit was to the vet, where aside from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises Hallie got a clean bill of health.
The couple says they're planning to retrieve their car from Crater Lake.