LILLOOET (NEWS1130) – When search and rescue crews found 42-year-old Dan McGowan’s body at the bottom of a steep embankment near Lillooet last week, they assumed his dog Jake had died with him.
McGowan’s car went off Highway 99 and plunged about 90 metres onto the bank of the Fraser River Thursday night. Rescue teams couldn’t get to the scene until the next morning.
Sgt. Fran Bethell says McGowan’s young pit bull was nowhere to be found when they got to the wreckage, but Mounties had no reason to believe he could have survived.
“On Saturday though, we got a tip from someone in the community that they had seen a dog in the area,” Bethell said. “The officer alerted some friends of Mr. McGowan and a group of people including the officers went out and searched the area.”
One of those friends was Bob Hughes. He says they found Jake collapsed on the porch of an abandoned home on the other side of the river.
“Clearly you can see that guy rolled and he hurt himself badly, but he’s in tact,” Hughes said.
“How he got across the river, nobody knows. Nobody can explain how he could have stayed warm in that kind of weather with the blood loss that he head, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
Jake has a punctured lung and a broken paw but is expected to make a full recovery.