UPDATE: Luna has been reunited with her owner on Wednesday, almost two weeks after she went missing.
ORIGINAL STORY: A Jacksonville man is searching for his dog that ran away from a car crash over the weekend.
Chris Forment told First Coast News he was driving with his dog, Luna, near the JTB bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway Saturday.
“All the sudden I hear some scuffling over by where the puppy usually sits, and I see her hanging out the window,” Forment said.
Forment reached for his dog, but jerked the steering wheel, ultimately crashing his car on the bridge.
“I hit the concrete wall on the other side of me, the airbags deployed, my tires and everything kind of got destroyed,” Forment said.
While he was physically unharmed, Forment was frantic. Luna was gone and he immediately feared the worst.
“I just [ran] out of the car freaking out... I thought I was gonna see her on the ground, run over,” he said.
Witnesses stopped after the crash, halted traffic and told Forment what they saw.
“She ran across the three lanes and I guess she was so scared from all the cars and the noise and the commotion that she just jumped over the bridge into the marsh below,” he said.
Though horrifying news, he said hope came shortly after from a passing boater.
“He saw her jump from the bridge and she landed in the marsh and she just immediately booked it out, started running away from the bridge,” Forment said.
Knowing Luna survived the jump, Forment started spread the word through social media with the help of friends and family. Some people have reported sightings, but still no Luna.
Four excruciating days have passed, but Forment refused to give up.
“You feel a little empty the first few days and then I guess you get over that and you kind of say well, my only hope really is to keep having hope and to just go out there and search and hope that I find her,” he said.
Luna is microchipped and was wearing a leather collar without a name tag when she ran off.
Mike Merrill is helping Forment look for Luna. He planned to set up “feeding stations,” trays with water and a bowl of food, near the spot where she was last seen along with clothes that smell like Forment to try to lure her there. They will monitor the spots with wireless cameras to see if they can spot Luna eating from them.
If anyone sees Luna, Merrill warned NOT to approach because it could scare her off and make her leave the area. Instead, call Florida Urgent Rescue at 904-372-3930 to report it.
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