WASHTENAW, Mich. - One person is dead in Washtenaw County after a freak accident where a dog jumped into a driver's lap causing her to become distracted.
An official with the Sheriff's Office told MLive they believed Cyril Berry Jr., 73, had been driving a pickup truck down Willis Road when a 71-year-old Blissfield woman driving another pickup truck crossed the center line, colliding with Berry. The crash happened around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Blissfield woman said she had six dogs in her truck and that one had jumped into her lap.
"She said what happened was, the dog jumped into her lap, distracted her as she was trying to get him back into the seat, and she crossed the center line and hit that other vehicle," said Derrick Jackson, of the Sheriff's Office told MLive on Thursday.
Both the woman and Berry were taken to St. Joseph Mercy Health System in critical condition. Berry died en route.
Three dogs died while the other three survived.
In response to the accident, the county sheriff's office is reminding all drivers to be vigilant and that distracted driving doesn't pertain to just texting.
"Distracted driving examples can be texting and searching for items within a moving vehicle. And let's not forget out pets can be distractions too! Please make sure your pets are properly harnessed and secured while driving. Allowing animals to roam free within moving vehicles can be a recipe for disaster."