Glimmer of Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Photos by: Horacio Garcia

Follow his work at Instagram.com/horacio_photos

A local photographer captured a bright moment in a horrible situation last Friday as a truck crash in Rialto turns fatal. Photographer Horacio Garcia just happened to be in the area and this is what he said:

I happened to be on the Riverside Avenue overpass overlooking the wreckage when I saw the officer in the distance coming up the eastbound on-ramp with something in his arms and its head bobbing with each step he took. That’s when I saw the dog in his arms. I’m not sure which car the dog came from.

All to often the story of tragedy takes center stage and the small wins within that tragedy seem to go unnoticed. The Rialto Police Officer pictured carrying the dog is Motor Officer Shaun Mooney. Officer Mooney is a great officer and has been working traffic for the last few years. People from the community have had the chance to get to know this officer through his attendance at many local events and police sponsored meetings. It isn’t surprising that Officer Mooney was captured in this moment as this is just the type of Public Servant the community says they know him to be.

The other side of this story that is equally awesome yet not surprising to the community of Rialto is the dedication of the Animal Control Officers in Rialto. These officers never seem to back down from doing their jobs or refuse a request to help out in an area that may not be their area of responsibility. Animal Control Officer Erica Bluff-Hopp responded to the accident scene even though normally Animal Control does not respond to traffic accident especially on the Freeways those areas are normally handled by Local Fire, the CHP and Caltrans but this accident was anything but normal and required all hands on deck.

It is simply amazing to see how our 1st responders jump into action in situations many of us may never know about. Animal Control is not given the credit they deserve many times for advocating and help animals that have no voice and are at the mercy of compassionate human care. This moment in time also speaks to what our police officers do, they are more than simply a person to offer up a consequence for bad choices. They also do things for people that go unseen or unspoken. This dog was taken away from a crazy accident scene and placed in a place of safety, this dogs owners didn’t have to worry about their animal because strangers decided to step up and help this animal and their family.

We found out later that this dogs owners were the people who passed away in the Red car. The two people inside the car passed away and our thoughts and prayers are with the family who we found out has experienced a lot of unexpected loss recently. The upside is that because Officer Mooney and Animal Control Officer Erica Bluff-Hopp this animal survived such a horrible accident and was reunited with family shortly after the accident.

 

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