Finding dog a miracle, says driver

  • Jun. 17, 2005 4:00 p.m.

Mike Stelmaschuk, the driver of the North Arm diesel tanker that crashed Wednesday spilling close to 18,000 litres of diesel fuel into Marie Lake says it’s a miracle his dog Puddles survived.
The two year old poodle/terrier cross was in the cab with him when the truck slid off the main logging road about halfway between Port and Queen Charlotte, and plunged down a 30-metre embankment, coming to rest upside down only 80-metres from the lake, part of the Yakoun River system.
Mr. Stelmaschuk was slightly injured, but the dog disappeared from 11:00 am Wednesday until after lunch the following day, when Mr. Stelmaschuk visited the site for the first time.
“Yeah, it was a miracle,” he said, adding that one of the crew members on scene told him the dog had been there early in the morning. Mr. Stelmaschuk went looking for it in his car, calling him, then saw him in the rear view mirror, following along.
“It was great. I definitely broke down in tears when I saw him coming. He doesn’t have a scratch on him,” Mr. Stelmaschuk said. “I checked him out, no bumps, no bruises, yeah he seems up to his normal self.” “He’s awesome,” he added.
Mr. Stelmaschuk, 23, had been driving for North Arm only since April. He is resting at his home in Masset following the accident.