COEUR D’ ALENE, Idaho (AP) - The lone survivor of an all-terrain vehicle crash that killed two people last week didn’t sustain any injuries as a result of the 500-foot fall or her six days in the wilderness, according to her veterinarian.
Rescuers found Daisy the dachshund Saturday in a small hole about 800 feet from the top of the Bernard Overlook at the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille east of Athol.
The driver, Thomas McTevia, 42, of Coeur d’Alene and his friend Tina Hoisington, 45, of Lewiston had the dog with them when their ATV went over the cliff on April 19. Both died in the crash, and the dog couldn’t be found in the days after.
“We knew she was out there,” McTevia’s sister, Laura Bess, told the Coeur d’Alene Press (https://bit.ly/1bKUvje). “We just didn’t know if she was dead or alive.”
A five-man team organized Saturday to scour the forest floor with ropes while family and friends waited for news at the top of the cliff. Bess said her brother’s 18-year-old son Ryan spotted the animal.
“All of a sudden, from the radio we heard, ‘We found the dog,’” said Tonya Reed of Spirit Lake, whose husband took part in the search. “It gave me chills.”
Daisy was wrapped in a blanket and taken to a veterinarian who determined she hadn’t suffered any injuries or health problems in the crash or six days outside.
“To have this little bit of hope, and something to hang on to, to cheer for and love the way that he would have, that is just golden,” said Dena Hankins, one of McTevia’s friends.
McTevia, a Navy veteran and former police officer, became an advocate for those with physical challenges after a severe spinal cord injury paralyzed him in 2004. He pushed for the city to make a portion of Tubbs Hill trail near lake Coeur d’Alene accessible to wheelchair users.
He continued to lead an active life after the injury. He kayaked, photographed, hunted, skydived and “hand-cycled,” or operated a bike with his hands.
Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, https://www.cdapress.com
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