The owner of a dog who was run over and killed by a city Parks and Recreation Department truck said the city worker was speeding when he hit her precious Penny and even tried to flee.
Chantelle Deck said she was in the grass at Kate Sessions Park in Pacific Beach Sunday morning with her husband, dog and 2-year-old child when the city worker came speeding down a hill.
Chantelle estimated the driver’s speed at about 15 mph and said he was driving in a location where it was “clearly” unsafe to go that speed. She says she had just pulled her son to the side to show him a tree and fears that if she had not, it wouldn’t be just Penny her family lost.
“He couldn't have clearly seen what was in front of him, which is why he ran over our precious Penny with his front and back tires as he drove down the hill,” Chantelle wrote to NBC 7.
Deck then accused the driver of continuing down the hill in an attempt to flee after noticing he had hit something. She said her husband yelled at him loud enough for the whole park to hear and multiple people started chasing the driver.
“Once he got to the bottom he was blocked by two men so he rushed to make a U-turn and was driving even faster on his way up the hill, headed straight for us again, still trying to flee the scene,” Chantelle explained. “One of the witnesses jumped in front of his truck and one even jumped in the bed of his truck to try to get him to stop.”
Chantelle and her husband Nick tried to call an emergency vet but their beloved 11-year-old dachshund, who was unleashed at the time of the collision, took her last breath in Nick’s arms, Chantelle said.
Officers arrived shortly after but told her since dogs are considered property in California no law was broken. They also said that since he was a parks and rec. worker he was allowed to drive on the grass.
The employee’s supervisor told the Decks that nothing would be happening to the employee and that she would warn him and others to drive more safely in parks.
“For a city employee to be driving the way he did in a park that is often full of dozens of free-roaming dogs and children was completely irresponsible and reckless,” Deck said. “Had my 2-year-old son or my very pregnant self been in my dog's place this man would be in prison for vehicular manslaughter. Instead, we're left with a massive hole in our hearts and in our family and little more than an insincere apology to help us move on.”
The San Diego Police Department said the incident isn’t considered a traffic collision, but a violent disturbance. SDPD said the Decks were given an event number a contact information so that she could make a claim with the city.
A spokesperson told NBC 7 the city was looking into the incident.