Dog Found Five Days after Tragic Car Accident

When Lisa Hawkins set out for Calgary with her best friend and the friend’s 4- and 6-year-old daughters, all they had in mind was a holiday visit with Hawkins’s family. Instead, the trip ended in tragedy and in one small miracle.

The drive went smoothly from Burnaby, where the friend lived, to Merritt, where Hawkins makes her home. So did the stretch from Merritt to Calgary. Hawkins brought along Toffee, her year-old pit bull-Rottweiler cross, for the trip across B.C.’s southern interior and on into Alberta.

Unfortunately, Toffee turned out to be a headache for the Calgary relatives. So Hawkins’s best friend offered to leave early and drive Toffee back home. She and her two young daughters set out in their SUV on December 21st. They never reached home.

Near the summit of Rogers Pass, a mountainous stretch of B.C. highway, their SUV crossed the line and collided with a tractor trailer. The 36-year-old driver and her two daughters were killed instantly.

When police searched the scene, they found no sign of Toffee. Lisa Hawkins had a sense she might have been thrown clear and could still be alive. On Boxing Day she and her husband Steve drove to the site of the crash. Hawkins told the CBC:

My husband and I just called and shouted her name … and there she was. She popped her little head up on a snow bank, and I went running to her, definitely with tears in my eyes.

Toffee had survived both the crash and five cold, snowy days on a mountain pass. She was cold and hungry, but she was alive and healthy.

Ironically, Toffee had been the deceased woman’s dog before she was adopted by Lisa Hawkins. Finding the dog can never make up for the loss of her best friend and the two little girls, but Hawkins said in the CBC interview:

“With everything that has happened, Toffee is now more of a blessing to our family.”

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Photo of Toffee provided to media by Lisa Hawkins


Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 4 years ago

Lucky doggy.

Sarah Baker
Sarah Baker4 years ago

So sad.

Jennifer Hebert
Jennifer Brown4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Joan Earnshaw
Joan Earnshaw4 years ago

Hurray for the dog!
Sorry to hear about the friends.

June Lacy
June Lacy4 years ago

wow!!! what a story, how could you not cry after reading this......

Ana Marija R.
ANA MARIJA R4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

PrimaAWAY B.
PrimaAWAY B4 years ago

Grateful that the dog was found and survived. Sad that 3 people died.

It is a happy ending here to a tragic story.

Thank You.

Kat K.
Kat K4 years ago

Glad for the happy ending for Lisa and Toffee, but so sorry for the loss of the friend and two daughters. Such a bittersweet story.

Kerri S.
Kerri S4 years ago

I'm thrilled that they found the dog!

However, I don't understand what took them FIVE DAYS to go look?!!!

Anyone know something about this that may not be readily evident in the story? I would hate to think they waited so long without absolute necessity for doing so. I know if it were any of my pets I'd be there ASAP!!!

Kerri S.
Kerri S4 years ago

John S.

1) The "grey beard" as you call it may not be "grey" at all but simply a white muzzle (as in, natural coloration just like it's white feet and throat).

2) Since we have no idea what you're talking about --"you guess the second"-- I can only conjecture that you're taking issue with the dogs appearance. But as with any mutt or cross-breed, appearances can be deceiving. Especially, if there is any other possible breed mixed in that the owner may not be aware of.

You really make too much of what you 'think' you can see in a photo.