MINNEAPOLIS — Minutes after leaving a fundraiser for Second Hand Hounds at HeadFlyer Brewing on Saturday, tragedy struck and then flipped Chris Englund onto Hennepin Avenue.
"My knee took the brunt of it," Englund said. "I think I just threw myself up and I just kind of pinballed off of it."
Though Englund bounced off of the vehicle that flew through the flashing pedestrian crossing, his dog, Bozley, did not. Minutes after taking his photo with Santa inside the brewery, Bozley was lying in pain in the road.
"He flew like 20 feet," Englund said. "I just got up and ran to him, and as I picked him up he was biting down in pain. I put my hands in his mouth so he could bite my hands so he wouldn't hurt himself."
Englund and his wife rushed Bozley, a German Shepherd/Collie mix, to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. He was in shock and suffered three broken ribs and internal bleeding, but appeared to be improving. Then, on Monday, he went into cardiac arrest and died.
"It's so sad," Englund said. "He had more friends than all of us. Everybody loved him. He was the absolute best dog that anybody could ever ask for."
Not only have those friends started a GoFundMe page in Bozley's honor, they're also pushing for justice. Chris says the hit and run driver, who appeared to be driving a dark minivan or SUV, ignored the crosswalk warning lights, blew past a stopped metro transit bus and never even attempted to stop.
"It's just tough to know that there are people out there that do stuff like that," Englund said. "The bus did have (surveillance) footage so hopefully, by the end of the week, they should have gotten that, and we can get a license plate number."
The group Safe Streets Save Lives has been pushing for safety improvements at the intersection for months, and the city of Minneapolis does have a redesign of the dangerous crosswalk planned for this summer.
"People describe it as push and pray," said Sam Penders, with Safe Streets Save Lives. "You just kind of push the button and you're praying that people stop for you."
It's a prayer Chris can only wish is answered for others.
"He was my best friend and he was my responsibility," he said. "So I'm pretty heartbroken that I couldn't protect him."
If you have any information on the hit and run or the suspect vehicle, please call Minneapolis Police.