Passersby helped three people, 10 dogs after Friday Thruway rollover crash near Canajoharie, officials say


The overturned car, left, and Ayres shelter worker Carol Burns with one of the rescued puppies – Credit: Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department

CANAJOHARIE Passersby, including two teachers from Schenectady, were credited with helping three people and 10 dogs after a crash one-car crash along the Thruway near Canajoharie, according to the Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department.

The crash injured all three people and several of the dogs, but none seriously, according to state police and an animal shelter official.

The dog owners later reclaimed four of the dogs – the two adults and two puppies – leaving six puppies to recover and be adopted out later, according to the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter in Sprakers.

The crash happened at about 7:15 a.m. Friday along the Thruway east near mile marker 203 in Minden, state police said.

The driver veered into the passing lane, then over-corrected, struck a guide rail and overturned, state police spokeswoman Trooper Tara L. McCormick said Monday.

The three people in the car were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam with non-life-threatening injuries, McCormick said.

In all, 10 dogs were in the vehicle at the time, two adults and eight puppies, according to Ayres manager Marissa Christman. While the two adult dogs and two puppies were reclaimed by the owners, the other six puppies the owners agreed to allow to be adopted out at Ayres.

Three of those puppies have injuries that are being tended to, but they are expected to recover, Christman said.

“Otherwise they’re in very good spirits for all they’ve gone through during their little lives,” Christman said.

All three people and all the dogs were helped from the overturned car prior to rescue crews arriving, according to the Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department.

The passersby saw the vehicle starting to smoke and broke a window to get the occupants out, the department said.

They saw a dog running free down the side of the highway. They followed and caught that dog, placing it in their vehicle, the department said.

They then realized there were more dogs inside the crashed vehicle, eight puppies and one adult dog. They got the puppies out, but the adult dog refused to come out, the department said.

Arrangements were made to get the dogs to Ayres and the shelter sent someone to help get the last dog out. 

The fire department specifically cited assistance received from Schenectady teachers, nurses, law enforcement and college professors. They did not identify the helpers by name.

“We thank them greatly for caring,” the department wrote.

They also cited assistance from the state Thruway DOT, Roosevelt’s Towing, the state police, the Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps and St. Johnsville Ambulance.

More: All NewsEverything Montgomery County

By Steven Cook

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