Army Reservist dies, his dog vanishes after crash in North Carolina

NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A search is underway for a dog that escaped when a man was killed and others were injured in car crash on I-95 in Nash County, Tuesday morning.

The wreck happened before 9 a.m. Tuesday near exit 127, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Troopers say an SUV collided with a tractor trailer and the SUV overturned onto the shoulder of the highway.

The driver of the SUV, identified as 25-year-old Michael McLaughlin Jr., was killed as a result of the crash.

McLaughlin’s pregnant fiancée and her 5-year-old son were injured in the crash but are expected to survive.

Also riding in the car was McLaughlin’s Rottweiler named “Blitz.” Blitz ran from the scene after the crash and is still missing, according to authorities.

McLaughlin’s family, who is from Pennsylvania, placed a cage with dog treats and water near the crash scene hoping Blitz will return. Many people who live near the crash scene joined the search Wednesday and spent time looking around the area for Blitz.

“The thought of a dog being out here scared or maybe injured, it just tugs at my heart,” said Kevin Blow, who was helping search for Blitz. “The dog has been out here since yesterday. He’s not with his family, he’s by itself, he has no food, no water, don’t know where it’s at, probably scared to death.”

McLaughlin and his fiancée were driving from their home in Pennsylvania to Florida for job interviews at the time of the crash, according to family.

Family members say McLaughlin will be remembered as a funny, hard-working individual who loved his family and his fiancée. He spent six years as a reservist with the Pennsylvania National Guard and completed a one-year deployment in Afghanistan in 2014.

Along with mourning a loss, the family is now looking for Blitz. And while so far, they’ve come up empty, Blitz’ family is holding on to hope that he is still alive and they’ll be able to take him back home to Pennsylvania.

The family says they are working to offer a reward for anyone who can find Blitz. If you have any information, or think you’ve spotted the dog you’re asked to call Nash County Animal Control or the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.