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North Carolina dog blamed for crashing pickup into pool

Mike and Ruth Smith said their dog, Caroline, put her weight on the gas pedal when something spooked her and she jumped into the footwell.

By Ben Hooper

ERWIN, N.C., May 4 (UPI) -- A North Carolina couple whose pickup truck crashed into a swimming pool said their black lab was responsible for putting pressure on the gas pedal.

Mike and Ruth Smith said their dog, Caroline, was riding with them on a trip to the grocery store in their 1988 Dodge pickup Friday when something spooked her.

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"When she gets scared she will go down on the floorboard of the truck," Mike Smith told WRAL-TV.

Smith said Caroline chose the driver's side floor on this occasion and put all 90 pounds of her weight on the gas pedal. He said he was unable to pull the dog up from the floor and Ruth Smith, who was driving, aimed the vehicle for a wooden fence in the hopes of stopping the truck.

The pickup crashed through the fence and ended up in John McNamara's swimming pool.

McNamara said he was in the kitchen with his wife when they heard the commotion in the yard.

"I just had open heart surgery in January," McNamara told WTVD-TV. "I said, 'I'm gonna have another heart attack here.'"

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Michael Smith suffered a few cuts to his head. Ruth Smith and Caroline were not injured.

The Dodge was totaled.

"I hate that it happened to [McNamara's] pool, but I think that it might have saved our lives," Michael Smith said.

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