BOISE - A man's quick thinking may have saved the life of his furry friend when his pickup flipped on the interstate Wednesday morning.
Will Lehmann of Elko, Nevada and his dog, Stuart Little, were eastbound on I-84 near the Stage Stop towing a trailer full of firewood when the crash happened. He says he was headed home.
I've made this trip probably a dozen times, hauling wood down home for winter, he said.
Lehmann was in the left lane to pass a slow-moving truck when the trailer began to sway uncontrollably.
I tried to slow down, it whipped worse, I tried to accelerate to straighten it out, it got worse, he said. Lehmann said he realized the truck was likely going to flip, so he slowed down as much as possible. As he did, the trailer swung around, snagging on the edge of his truck's bumper, and the vehicle began to tip.
Thinking quickly, Lehmann reached out and grabbed his dog's collar, keeping the pup still as the truck rolled completely over, landing on its wheels again in the median and strewing firewood across the ground.
I grabbed him to keep him from flying around the cab, he said.
He says Stuart Little was shaken up by the rollover- and petrified of leaving the cab after the wreck - but will be fine. Lehmann was buckled in, and wasn't hurt.
I'll tell you, this is a good reason to wear a seatbelt, he said. I never moved out of my seat.
A 23-year law enforcement veteran, Lehmann says he's seen what happens when people neglect to buckle up.
The fatalities are when people don't wear their seatbelts, he said. This sort of thing happens, and they get thrown out.
The firewood spilled into the median, not the highway, so lanes are not blocked. Troopers with Idaho State Police are still investigating what caused the crash.
Lehmann says he bought a no-sway hitch for the trailer just a few weeks ago, and wasn't speeding when the crash happened. He has not been cited in the wreck.
The driver says he is just grateful he and his dog both survived the rollover.
When we got done, I said 'thank you Lord,' he said. [The truck and trailer] can be replaced.