Guide Dog O'Neil and GDB Training Supervisor Todd Jurek Save the Day!
On June 10, 2013 Training Supervisor Todd Jurek, Apprentices Danielle Alvarado and Hanna Belyea, and summer intern/puppy raiser Emily Crisp, narrowly escaped harm when the driver of a car attempting to parallel park jumped the curb and continued to drive along the sidewalk where all four of them, plus O'Neil, a guide dog in training, were at work. Thanks to very quick reaction times and smart thinking, Todd was able to steer O'Neil and Danielle (who was under blindfold) down a side street; Hanna did the same with Emily (pulling them to the safety of an alcove - Hanna and Emily were observing Todd, Danielle and O'Neil at work further down the block near the point of the car's entry). Video was captured of the entire incident from the security cameras of one of the buildings on the block; you can view the footage at this link:
Footage (with audio description): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE2IfVjC51c&feature=youtu.be
First and foremost, we are very thankful that this incident had a happy ending. No one was hurt - Todd, Danielle, Hanna, Emily and O'Neil are all safe; the driver and passenger of the car were not injured; no other pedestrians were affected. Certainly those involved were understandably shaken, but calm heads prevailed in this situation. GDB would like to commend and thank both Todd and Hanna for their heroic actions. It speaks to the professionalism of our instructors that they are always on the lookout and aware of the need for safety at all times when working with our dogs, students and each other. Certainly no amount of training could ever prepare them for what happened yesterday, but their reactions and swift decision-making led to the most positive outcome possible.
GDB has received a lot of media attention around this story, including local San Francisco Bay Area and National coverage:
Today Show: http://www.today.com/video/today/52189843
Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/guide-dog-saves-men-swervi
The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/todd-jurek-guide-dog_n_3431340.html
KTVU Channel 2: http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/san-rafael-guide-dog-and-handler-dodge-death/v4NF9/
NBC Bay Area: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Guide-Dog-in-Training-Saves-Two-Lives-211274721.html
ABC KGO-TV: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/north_bay&id=9137003
CBS KPIX Channel 5: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/8985576-blindfolded-instructor-guide-dog-nearly-run-down-by-out-of-control-marin-driver/