Molly the German Shepherd found safe on I-94 - KMSP-TV

Missing dog found safe after owner's fatal crash

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MENOMONIE, Wis. (KMSP) -

Molly the missing German Shepherd was found safe Saturday morning after her owner tragically died in a car accident near Menomonie, Wis. early Thursday morning.

Molly was discovered near the I-94 fence line. She was riding with 45-year-old Minnesota man John Philippi, whose nephew brought Molly to safety. FOX 9 News has confirmed Molly was deemed healthy in a follow-up veterinarian scan.

Among all of the traffic tie-ups in Thursday's snow storm, Philippi and Molly were a part of a two-semi crash along I-94.

Philippi's family, greatly saddened by their loss, desperately sought closure in the search for his companion, Molly.

"Right now she's the only thing we got left," Philippi's nephew Andy Anderson tells FOX 9.

"I was his right hand man, and he was my right hand man," cried Anderson.

Philippi was driving toward Illinois. He was not wearing a seatbelt, and was on the phone with his friend, Debbie Doughty.

Philippi's family tells FOX 9 his truck was struck from another semi from behind and both cabs were removed from their respective engine departments on impact.

"His last words were, ‘Hold on, Debbie, I'm going to crash' and she heard the glass break," said Philippi's nephew, Matt Doughty.

"He seen something happening in front of him that he tried to avoid, and by making a sharp right he tipped the load and then the second truck hit him. "

Philippi's beloved German Shepard, Molly was in the cab and escaped the scene. Witnesses told Doughty Molly was spotted near the I-94 Knapp exit, limping.

"John would not go anywhere without Molly," sobbed Anderson.

Philippi had been an over the road truck driver for more than 20 years. Relatives tell FOX 9 Philippi just started caring for his aging mother a few months ago. This is the third death to strike the family this year.

"She asked me, ‘Is John alive?' And I said, ‘no grandma he's gone. And all she could do was scream out my name,'" said Anderson fighting tears.

"It would definitely send him to heaven with ease knowing that Molly can be taken care of within the family." said Doughty.

While Molly will likely grieve the loss of her comrade, Philippi's family can take comfort in her rescue.

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