The Sideshow

Video: Dog rescued in Gulf of Mexico had just survived car crash

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Here's a grim epilogue to a YouTube mystery: A dog found swimming in the Gulf of Mexico was in fact escaping from the scene of a tragic accident where his owner was killed by a drunk driver.

Rory O'Connor was trolling the Gulf Coast in a kayak when he caught an unusual moment on film: a dog appeared out of nowhere, swimming up to his kayak. O'Connor posted the video to his YouTube account, writing:

The accident scene was about a mile from where I found Barney swimming. Our guess is that he was so freaked out and traumatized that he just wanted to get as far away from there as possible. And when he ran out of land, he took to the water. I feel lucky that I was there fishing, because there was no place for him to go and I don't know if he could have made it much farther. He's banged up, but fine. Our hearts go out to the family who lost their mother.

Barney's owner was 53-year-old Donna L. Chen, who was taking him for a walk. Both were struck by a vehicle belonging to 22-year-old Blake Talman. Allegedly fleeing the scene of another accident, Talman hit both Chen and Barney, along with a street sign, several wooden poles at the entrance of a church and finally a telephone pole, before coming to a stop.

After he was struck by Talman's car, Barney fled the scene and jumped into the Gulf of Mexico. Talman is facing charges of manslaughter and is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

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