Dog dies after Friday's accident

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A dog injured in a three-vehicle accident died Friday night after undergoing surgery for massive internal bleeding.

Avalanche, a anatolia and pyrenees cross, was involved in a Friday afternoon accident on U.S. Highway 40 just east of Steamboat that sent three people to the Yampa Valley Medical Center and the dog to the Steamboat Veterinary Hospital.

The dog was traveling in a Toyota Rav4, driven by Brandon Helmstetter. Both Helmstetter and his passenger, Jenna Mcaleer, were taken to YVMC. Helmstetter remains in the hospital in fair condition, and Mcaleer was treated and released Saturday.

One other man, Martin Moreno Loera, 39, was taken to YVMC, was treated and released Friday.

Veterinarian Mike Gotchey, who operated on the dog, said the dog was bleeding too fast to save.

The animal had to be rescued from the wreckage of the sport utility vehicle and was taken to the hospital by Steamboat Springs Animal Control.

The accident occurred when the Toyota Rav4 was heading westbound on U.S. 40 and it crossed the centerline, first striking an eastbound Dodge Ram on the driver's side rear and then hitting a second Dodge Ram towing a flatbed trailer head on. After the head-on collision, the sport utility vehicle rolled onto the driver's side and came to a rest.

The dog was sitting in the back.

The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. Friday near the Holiday Inn. It is under investigation, but one witness said the Toyota's driver's side front tire blew, which could have caused it to swerve into the eastbound lane.

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