A Florida family of four was driving home from vacation on Christmas Eve when another vehicle veered into their lane and sideswiped the family’s Hyundai SUV. Their vehicle careened into the median and flipped before hitting a tree.
Chris Gross was killed in the accident. Her son Jeffrey escaped with minor scrapes and bruises, along with Chris’ longtime companion Steven Hausman and his daughter Elyssa.
What they couldn’t find after the accident was their 11-year-old black Labrador named Tasha. She had been in the back of the car with the luggage.
With no sign of the dog around the accident site, the family was taken to the hospital and then returned home to Weston, Fla. the following day.
Elyssa called the nearby animal shelters, the Volusia County pound, state highway officials, and even the company that mows the median along Interstate 95.
She had no luck. After six days they had all but given up hope of finding Tasha when a call came in from animal control in Volusia County. Tasha had been found wandering near the crash site, hungry, thirsty and covered in ticks.
After receiving 32 stitches to a seven-inch gash on her neck, Tasha was driven home to her family that night by a veterinary technician.
"It was like bringing home a piece of my mom when we found her," said Amanda Gross, who returned home from college after receiving the news about her mother. "I have no idea how she survived the crash. We believe my mom wanted to give us back the dog so we could have some kind of joy while we are grieving."