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Dog walks itself home after visually impaired owner killed in hit-and-run, police say

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(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — A Tennessee dog walked itself home after its visually impaired owner was struck and killed by a pickup truck on their morning walk, police said.

The incident happened in Nashville’s Madison neighborhood on Wednesday at around 6:30 a.m. ET. A 50-year-old woman with vision impairment was walking her dog across a bridge on Rio Vista Drive when she was hit, according to the Nashville Police Department.

The driver fled the scene and there were no known witnesses to the collision, but chrome grill parts belonging to a 2009 to 2014 Ford F-150 were found in the road, police said.

A passerby found the victim and called 911. The woman was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to police. The victim’s name has not yet been released, as investigators work to locate and notify her family.

After the incident, police officers went to a nearby apartment complex where the victim lived and found her dog unharmed, sitting at her front door. The pet is now in the care of Nashville’s Metro Animal Control, police said.

Animal control officials are working to identify a next of kin of the dog, according to ABC Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV. If no one is identified, the pet will go through the standard procedure for placement in a new home, WKRN reported.

The dog bears some similarity to Hachikō, a male Japanese Akita who became an international cultural symbol of loyalty. Hachikō was said to meet his owner at a Tokyo train station each day after his commute home. When the owner died of a cerebral hemorrhage while at work in 1925, Hachikō famously returned to the station everyday, awaiting his owner’s return until his own death in 1935.

Anyone with information about Wednesday’s fatal collision or a Ford F-150 with significant grill damage is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

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