Community rallies to help man in car accident reunite with dog

Tom Deters was driving north on the 5 Freeway when he was hit from behind and sent rolling out of control on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Photo Courtesy of Tom Deters.
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Tom Deters, 52, was having an ordinary drive on the 5 freeway alongside his best friend Zen, a Brindle pitbull mix.

The peaceful drive came to an end when the tire of the vehicle driving next to his blew out and swerved into him.  Deters lost control of his car and went flying into the center divider, flipping multiple times.

When the car stopped rolling, Deters realized that his dog Zen was no longer in the passenger seat.

Zen, a pitbull, was missing after being ejected from his owners car in a car accident on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Photo Courtesy of Tom Deters.

“Immediately I just thought he [had] passed,” said Deters. He didn’t believe the first responders when they told him that they had not found a body or injured dog anywhere near the crash site.

It would be almost two hours later that Deters would be able to return to the location where his car had been totalled, and search for his canine companion.

Deters drove to the Castaic animal shelter, asked pedestrians walking on the street, but Zen was nowhere to be found.

Finally after talking to enough people, Deters turned to social media.

“I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now and it’s kind of chaotic but I just need to ask you some help,” said Deters in a video posted on Facebook.

Reunited! Thank you thank you thank you for all who helped, posted, shared, listened & cared. I am humbled by what happened this morning. It was no less than a miracle to be alive & holding Zen right now… a pure miracle. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ????????????????????

Posted by Tom J Deters on Saturday, September 9, 2017


The video caught the attention of PawBoost, a local lost pet finder who came aboard to help Deters find Zen.

The video went on to receive over 4000 views and over 50 shares in just a couple of hours.

Deters eventually got a phone call from someone at the Pilot gas station in Castaic.

“I just drove straight there and when I walked back [to the back storage room] they had him and I just dropped down and grabbed him and held him and cried,” said Deters.

Like Deters, Zen was without a scratch and completely unscathed.

“If you saw my vehicle you would have guess that there was no way I lived. And I didn’t have a scratch on me.” said Deters.

“Now the fact that my dog didn’t have a scratch on him would be miracle number two.”


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