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On Eric Drive, No Recourse After a Dog Is Maimed in Hit-and-Run and Near-Miss for Owner

| May 5, 2016

My parents retired a few years ago and as with anyone who is retired spend more time at home than they ever did before. Max was adopted back in 2012 and became part of the family. He loved my father and oddly enjoyed licking his toes but was attached to my mother from day one. He always followed her from room to room throughout the house, squeaked his toy loud when she was on the phone and was upset when she left the house. While some may not feel the same way, we feel that our pets are a member of our family and we lost a member last Thursday night.

‘My parents retired a few years ago,’ Angela and Rosario DiBella’s son Joey says, ‘and as with anyone who is retired spend more time at home than they ever did before. Max was adopted back in 2012 and became part of the family. He loved my father and oddly enjoyed licking his toes but was attached to my mother from day one. He always followed her from room to room throughout the house, squeaked his toy loud when she was on the phone and was upset when she left the house. While some may not feel the same way, we feel that our pets are a member of our family and we lost a member last Thursday night.’ (DiBella family image)

The evening of April 28 Angela DiBella did what she’s done about three times a day for years: she took her two dogs, Max and Rooster, for a walk on Evans drive in Palm Coat’s E Section. They were leashed, as always. As an extra treat she decided to walk them for a little longer, and walked along Eric Drive, not far from the corner-lot house where DiBella and her husband have lived for 11 years.

“As we passed my second driveway going toward the woods,” DiBella, 59, said, “it was like all of a sudden I hear this thump. I’m walking, I hear this thump and before I know it, there was Max being thrown to the side by the trees in the grassy part, and I hear him screaming, and I could hear because the front of the car hit him.”

Max was a Shih Tzu, about 10 years old, in the family for he past four. “So as I’m looking at him flying toward the grass, I feel—I almost felt the car next to me. As I’m looking, it was just inches away from me, and I mean literally inches away from me. I went into the grass because Max was already in the grass and I’m screaming and screaming and the car just kept going. Didn’t even stop, didn’t even see the brake lights go on or off, nothing. So there I am, just screaming my head off. I pick him up, and I start running inside in the driveway. My husband heard me screaming, had no idea what was going on.”

Max was dead 90 minutes later. Right after DiBella’s husband called 911 she took him to Flagler Animal Hospital—Max bit her on the face when she tried to pick him up, he was in so much pain—only to learn that his spine was broken, and he was partly paralyzed. The veterinarian gave DiBella the option of waiting ’till morning, but there was little sense in it: Max was agonizing, and he would be paralyzed for life, if he lived. “I had to have him put to sleep,” DiBella said. “By 10 o’clock, we were back home. It was just so quick. Unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Hit-and-run laws are clear and penalties severe when a collision involves damage to property or injury or death to human beings. But the same does not apply when an animal is struck or even killed. Animal cruelty laws may kick in, but only if there is a demonstrable intent to harm an animal. In this case, from DiBella’s description of the collision, the driver may not even have known that he or she had struck a dog—or had come within inches of striking DiBela. But, she says, drivers going too fast and paying little attention to pedestrians has been a recurring problem on Eric Drive.

“If they were paying attention and they were actually driving the way you’re supposed to drive in the neighborhood,” DiBella said of the driver who struck Max, “he would have seen me on this side of the road.” It was dusk, but she was wearing a white shirt. Her account echoes similar complaints about racing traffic on residential arteries around town, Florida Park Drive being a common one. “That’s the way it is. It’s like a stretch of road that everybody thinks that they can just go 50, 60 miles an hour, and he’s not the only one. I mean, we see that every single day, every day. Then if you say hey or something, they give you the finger. They’ve had cops here. Every time we’ve made complaints about this road, they put some cops around for a few days. Everybody is going down slowly, slower, but once the cops are gone, they’re back to the same old thing.”

DiBella and her husband Rosario, better known as Rocky, have been Palm Coast residents for three decades. They ran Flagler Beach’s LaBella Restaurant for years, then Rocky’s Pizzeria a few blocks up from the old place until they sold it in 2010. They raised three children in the B Section before moving to the corner of Eric and Evans. They’ve watched Palm Coast grow rapidly, and been aware of driver inattention’s consequences: DiBella has sharp memories of how roles were reversed in a 2011 case, when a woman who was walking her dog in Palm Coast’s C Section was struck by a driver who kept going. The woman, Francoise Pecqueur, was left in a ditch before a resident in the neighborhood noticed her—and her white poodle, who was spared. Pecqueur died two days later. (The woman who struck Pecqueur was eventually arrested and served nearly two years in prison. She remains on probation.)

“I was like, oh my god, that’s exactly the same feeling that I had,” DiBella said. “You get hit, you’re in the ditch, the person doesn’t stop, nobody knows that you’re in that ditch. I do remember that story very, very well. That poor woman, and the dog.”

DiBella hasn’t walked Rooster in the neighborhood since. She takes him in the yard. She can’t walk the streets. Rooster didn’t eat for days after Max’s disappearance. He kept looking around for his old companion. The DiBellas put up a marker where the collision took place, in hopes that if someone in the neighborhood reads it and has a change of heart, they could find out the identity of the driver. They hold out little hope. “My dog is gone. My fear is not going to go away. But at least if they’re aware of this, of what’s going on for everybody, who knows. Maybe a life or another dog will be saved,” DiBella said.

“There is nothing we can do to bring Max back,” the DiBellas’ son Joey, a P-Section resident, said, “but I hope that someone reading this might think twice about speeding, put down their phone while their driving, pay closer attention to their surroundings and save someone’s life in the process. It’s very disheartening to me that the person who nearly killed my mother and killed Max couldn’t even stop to see if they were okay.”

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53 Responses for “On Eric Drive, No Recourse After a Dog Is Maimed in Hit-and-Run and Near-Miss for Owner”

  1. anonymous says:

    This is absolutely horrible. I’m so sorry for the owner as I am a pet owner and same thing happened when 2 dogs of mine were hit. I hate this court system and all others so corupt. I was recently raped and denied a restraibing order. It’s absolutely unbelievable and he is running free saying consensual and definately not. Bruised from head to toe. Broward County would lock his as’s up grant injunction. It’s horrible here.

  2. GoodFella says:

    Glad to hear that Angela’s ok. This person is probably older and has no clue what they did. No brake lights at all in my opinion tells that. On a different note, Rocky needs to come out of retirement and take over his old restaurant. It was the best food in town for many many years. Glad to hear that he is still around town and doing well!

  3. WISHFUL THINKING says:

    If dog was on leash it was at minimum ‘negligent dogslaughter’. I personally will e-mail every Flagler County Commissioner to enact a criminal ordinance for any properly leashed pet ‘hit and run’. Our pets deserve the same respect for their God given lives as human beings do. It is shocking to find out that no such law exists

  4. George says:

    My heart goes out to Max and her owner…..This City has become “Death’s Waiting Room”. I have NEVER seen such a more “dangerous driver ” location. When I leave in the morning I tell my love ones that if I don’t make it home, MOVE OUT of this place as FAST as you can.

  5. PCOG says:

    This place has gone steadily downhill for over the last ten years or more. So many dirtbags here. Our sheriff wants to decriminalize weed so he has to work even less getting rid of all the scum we have here. People constantly speed up and down my street too, while the cops are hiding/parked behind Belle Terre Elementary or the church at the end of PCPWY doing who knows what.

  6. Geezer says:

    I love animals, especially dogs. You can’t find a more loyal companion who loves you unconditionally.
    I’m going through a dog-free phase because I can’t deal with the notion of my dog dying or getting sick.
    One day when I’m ready again, I’ll go to the local shelter and rescue another dog.

    I’d like Angela to know that I understand her loss and feel for her.

    At least Max knew what it’s like to be loved. We can’t say that about the majority of cats and dogs
    who wind up unwanted and are put to sleep. I am glad that Miss Angela was not injured physically.
    Her injury is the loss of her dog, and that’s bad enough.

    So sorry about Max.

    .

  7. ml says:

    While this is not excusable by any means, Eric Drive is not a street that should be walked on, especially at night. As a resident of the E section I know it can be hard to see people or animals almost any time of the day during certain conditions. Heck, I’ll even say I’ve come close to people while paying complete attention to the road. Although she was wearing a white shirt, most people walk Eric drive in very dark clothing and then act like it’s your fault that you didn’t see them and got a little close. With all that said, any chance i get to move almost completely over to the opposite lane safely, I do. There are many less traveled streets that run off of Eric that people should use for the purposes of walking pets or exercising. I appreciate the responsible pedestrians who wear reflective clothing and have a little more respect for their own well being.

  8. The Geode says:

    PEOPLE need to be more diligent when walking their dogs. There’s this old guy on my block who has these two “mini-pincers” that lunge at cars while he stares at you like YOU are the one who is not supposed to be on the road. Keep in mind that to some people, (like me) dogs are JUST dogs and it’s up to you to protect them.

  9. YankeeExPat says:

    “Racing traffic on residential arteries around town, Florida Park Drive being a common one.”

    The City did a Traffic Study last Year and in the End the residents were told everything is Fine, there is nothing out of the ordinary …………And to Now Go Pound Some Sand!

    “From an engineering standpoint, Florida Park Drive (is) very acceptable,” said City Manager Jim Landon.
    He added that while engineers have reached one conclusion, residents have reached a much different one. (Daytona Beach News Journal June 9, 2015 )

  10. The Truth says:

    In other words, no street is to be walked on period. Eric Drive is no different than the side streets or any other street in Palm Coast. While I understand what you were trying to say, I don’t agree at all.

    If drivers were paying attention, driving the speed limit and driving with caution through neighborhoods than these types of accidents can be nearly completely avoided. I’m not referring to the cases where a dog runs out in the street last second, but where someone is standing on the side of the road. I drive down Eric Drive at night nearly every day and have no issue seeing someone if they’re walking the street. I am also driving 25-30 mph (usually with some asshole riding my ass) so I have plenty of time to see someone and react if necessary as well.

    I find your post to be rude and a bit condescending. It’s very simple — IF drivers act just as responsible as pedestrians than accidents like this can be avoided. When drivers are distracted, aren’t paying attention or are SPEEDING than their reaction times are limited or eliminated entirely.

  11. wow really says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your beloved fur baby. It is much safer for you and the dog in your own yard. No street lights no sidewalks. Take care.

  12. LO says:

    I agree with all of you, this is disgusting, I have dogs and cats, they are my family. I would be outraged and devastated if this happened to me. Palm Coast’s neighborhoods have gone downhill. I moved here with my family in 1982 and moved away in 1999. I moved back in 2013 to help my parents and am disappointed on how people fly down the residential streets, throw trash out their vehicles and have an attitude of disrespect for others. This is not the town I remember growing up in. Indian Trails section is where I live and cars have driven at least 50 miles per hour if not more down my street and these people are only going to their houses! I have a daughter and I cannot let her ride her bike on our street because I am too afraid someone will hit her with their carelessness. What can we do?

  13. Kat L says:

    How about more speed bumps?. Especially in the subdivisions , with no sidewalks ! Fortunately for Mrs. but sadly for all of us with pets.!!!!!

  14. JR says:

    This is a horrible story. I agree that Palm Coast has changed over the years. I grew up here as well and attended school with the DiBella’s children, my heart goes out to you. Does anyone have a description of the car that hit the dog? maybe that’s a start, or anyone on that road have security cameras that may have caught something? People need to put the phones down when driving.

  15. confidential says:

    We can’t even walk our pets much less our kids with these irresponsible murderous drivers around here that do not slow down around us while passing and further more they text while drive what is fatal for many!
    I hear drivers raging their engines all the time day and night also in our C section. If occasionally I walk my dogs I have my phone in my pocket for callers to leave messages and I am very, very alert of vehicles around. I answer my phone messages when back home safe with my pets.

  16. The Truth says:

    To The Geode:

    Clearly, that is different than the situation that happened with Max. A dog who’s running into the street, lunging at cars and owners who don’t put forth any effort to keep that from happening are not what’s being discussed here. What is being discussed is the excessive speed, constant distractions and carelessness by drivers throughout the city. As I’ve mentioned previously, I live in this area and I have seen Mrs. DiBella walking her dogs. She is always careful, walking on the side of the road and cautious. This was a case of a driver who was not paying attention to their surroundings and likely driving above the posted speed limit.

    Perhaps I’m of the minority, but when I’m driving I am cautious of all my surroundings. I care about anything that’s living and would be upset if I were to ever have killed someone else’s pet. Apparently, to you a ‘dog is just a dog’ so I’m glad I don’t live in your neighborhood.

  17. Geezer says:

    They sell reflective vests in Walmart:
    http://www.walmart.com/search/?query=reflective%20vest&typeahead=reflective%20vest

    They’re cheap enough, and are just plain smart to wear after sundown when walking PC streets.

    Here’s something to put on your dog for those nocturnal walks:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Light-Bubbas-Leash-Collar/dp/B00OYSEVN6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462540487&sr=8-1&keywords=Dog+Light%2C+Bubba%27s+Leash+Light%2C

  18. Ariana386 says:

    This is my next-door neighbor! These people were always cautious–they walk off to the side of the road–not down the middle–and Mrs DiBella always wears appropriately light-colored clothing when she DOES go on walks. I also walk my dog on Eric–I have been down in the ditch alongside the road and have nearly been sideswiped by some lunatic driver who thinks it’s okay to drive 60+mph because they are running late in the mornings, etc. The speed limit there is 30mph! Not 50…Not 60 or 65….. 30… They have no business driving that fast, not to mention just a few short weeks ago, a driver that was too distracted while TEXTING swerved into the neighbors MAILBOX and took it clear off the post! Had that been a person–God forbid, a CHILD–they wouldn’t be here today to tell the tale! The police need to sit down in the E-section and watch what goes on… Wanna meet that “quota”? You got it. And all while taking in the lovely golfcourse while you wait for these pathetic losers that have no regard for others and their pets/property. I bet if we organized a neighborhood watch and shot out the windows of cars that were speeding with bb guns, there would be an outcry and some action taken. But a poor dog is left on the roadside to suffer and eventually lose his life, and there are pieces of crap on here saying “he was JUST a dog”…. JUST a dog? Go to hell…. That was someone’s family member.

  19. AmazonWife says:

    It doesn’t matter either way what you think a dog is. Every time you drive you need to be alert and responsible or just don’t drive at all. No where in this article does it suggest she wasn’t responsible on her end.

  20. theevoice says:

    REALLY..dont walk on eric drive!!! there are so many morons in this town and ml is their leader!!!

  21. woody says:

    First off I am a huge animal lover,second if ms.Dibella knew that people speed on her street she should have moved as far to the right as possible.Third she should be between the street and her dog as you would do with a child.Losing a loved pet is horrible.

  22. AmazonWife says:

    Woody,
    I don’t think Mrs. DiBella needs you reprimanding her with 1,2,3s. The driver was speeding and probably would have done the same if it were a person they hit. They didn’t care and they knew what they did. They knew it was a ticket for speeding and refused to pay for there actions. There is no justifying this and staying well she should have done this or that.

  23. The Truth says:

    It absolutely BLOWS my mind that there are a select few people in here who actually have the nerve to blame someone other than the DRIVER who was CLEARLY not paying attention and hit and KILLED a dog and NEARLY killed a human being who WAS standing on the grass.

    “She should have moved further over into the grass.” Should she have been walking in the woods too, would that have been further enough for you?

    “Eric Drive isn’t a road to walk on.” Eric Drive is a RESIDENTIAL road just like Evans, Evanston, Ethan Allen and every other road there. The speed limit is 30 Mph REGARDLESS of what street you are walking on. The FACT of the matter here is that drivers AND pedestrians need to be cautious but Mrs. DiBella is NOT in the wrong here. She was walking on the side of the road, in the same place that a sidewalk would be.

    Why is that for some of you, the driver is getting a pass for not seeing three moving creatures on the side of the road and SPEEDING. If you are going 30 Mph you are going slow enough to see someone moving on the side of the road. I have no issue seeing something on the side of the road when I am driving at night. My car came equipped with headlights that allow me to see at night. Once again, Mrs. DiBella did not allow her animals to walk around without a leash. Max didn’t dart out into oncoming traffic. This isn’t the case of an irresponsible dog owner. This is very simply a case of a DRIVER who was not paying attention and nearly killed Mrs. DiBella and killed her dog Max.

  24. Geezer says:

    Ariana386:

    Mrs. DiBella has a good neighbor in you.

  25. confidential says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Ariana, you said it loud and clear!! A pet is always one more member in our families. I really look forward for this driver to be caught!

  26. The Truth says:

    My wife and I just drove down Eric Drive around 8:30 and had NO problem seeing anyone who was walking along the side of the road including pets. We were driving 30 mph and we were PAYING ATTENTION. Perhaps if some of the other drivers in Palm Coast tried that this City would be a much safer place.

  27. PERCY'S MOTHER says:

    I know how heartbroken Ms. DiBella is . . . especially witnessing the event.

    I do not walk my dog on the residential streets in Palm Coast any more. It’s a pain, but I put the dog in the car and drive to a park every morning and evening (either Linear Park or Central Park aka City Hall Park). It’s the only place I can walk the dog in peace without having to worry about being cursed at by neighbors whose dogs have attacked my dog, worry about being mowed down by a car with owner texting while driving down a residential street at 50+mph or worry about neighborhood dogs that aren’t restrained by fence and/or leash.

    I know the powers that be (City commission and mayor) would like the world to believe that Palm Coast is a paradise, but the simple truth is that it’s a cesspool and I can’t get out of here soon enough.

  28. Kendall says:

    I lived in Cypress Knoll around the corner from Rocky and Angela for almost 15 years and I can say with conviction that some of the most aggressive and heavy footed drivers in Palm Coast regularly drove through that neighborhood. On more than one occasion we had to call the FCSO to report chronic speeders. Nothing was ever done to address the issue.

    I’m so sorry this happened but am glad Angela was not hit as well.

  29. TiredofExcuses says:

    I would NEVER live in Palm Coast – the armpit of Flagler County!

  30. The Geode says:

    The Truth: Who knows? I might live in your neighborhood. Flagler Live shields identities. I wouldn’t mind there being transparency and exposed names and email addresses. Hell, I wouldn’t mind anyone knowing my physical address. My position would be the same.

  31. woody says:

    Hey,I am not blaming Bibella But when your music is blarin cell phone in hand and flying down the road you can’t fix that.All you can do is TRY to stay far away as possible.I personally would like to take a base ball bat to there knees.

  32. suewho1010 says:

    So sorry for your loss. I hope they catch the individual who did this. You should try walking any of the beautiful trails, just drive and park and walk the trails safely.

  33. Geezer says:

    Those who moved here for peace and quiet – I feel your pain.
    I never felt so unsafe as when I lived in 32164.

  34. The Truth says:

    The Geode:

    Unfortunately, you’re right. I just might live in your neighborhood and it’s disappointing to know there are people like you in this world today. People who say things like: “Dogs are just dogs and its’ up to you to protect them” That’s a disgusting comment to make but not surprising at all. Of course it’s up to the dog owner to protect a pet, however, you would think that someone with the least bit of respect for a living being would be respectful enough to drive carefully through a neighborhood and understand that sometimes things aren’t as perfect as one would hope. If a person or dog is standing on the side of the road simply slow down and drive just a little further over just in case something out of the ordinary happens.

    Instead, people like you make comments that “dogs are just dogs” which is exactly why we live in such a selfish and me first society. On another note, you are free to include your name when posting on Flagler Live. The only thing that’s shielded is your e-mail address. If you care to share your name with everyone go right ahead.

  35. AmazonWife says:

    To Geode,
    I hope to God you don’t live in my area. It doesn’t matter how you feel about animals what matters is that the person who did this was wrong. Regardless of your neighbor Mrs. DiBella did nothing wrong and that is all there is to it. How dare you compare her to someone like your neighbor. This driver was speeding and there is no way you cannot feel when you hit something regardless of what size car. I hope to God you don’t have animals because I would feel sorry for them. If you’re so brave then put out who you are instead of still hiding behind a ridiculous screen name. Don’t say to The Truth I would gladly reveal myself but yet you still don’t have the balls to do it. End of story the person was wrong, evil, and heartless and by making your comments it just proves to everyone that you don’t think the driver was wrong in anyway. To that I say you are just like the driver wrong, evil , and heartless and people like you ruin society.

  36. neverwas says:

    Me and the mrs used to enjoy riding our bikes along the paved paths in Palm Coast but to get to them from our house we used to take that stretch of Eric. After one to many close calls of almost being hit by passing cars much to close that their mirrors almost hit you we stopped traveling that way. Now when we leave the house we go the other way on Eric that is very lightly used.
    The one section of Eric is heavily used, I blame this on only one exit from cypress knoll. The amount of traffic on that stretch of Eric and also East Hampton is much more than those roads should have. I think it is time that the city extends East hampton the other direction to 100 as originally planned. It will take a lot of traffic off those stretches of road that will keep getting worse if not done soon. Many of us cypress knoll residents would agree it is time for the road to be completed.

  37. YankeeExPat says:

    Driving is a Privilege, Not a Right. Driving is not a constitutional right. You get your drivers license based on the skills you have and the rules you agree to follow. After you get your driving license you must continue to demonstrate your ability to drive safely on the road.

  38. AmazonWife says:

    To woody,
    When I learned how to drive I was taught not to blast my music so I become deaf or be on my phone. It needs to be understood that pedestrians should not have to worry about drivers who do everything else under the sun except driving responsible. There needs to be a law like up north on NY where driving while being on a cellphone is against the law plain and simple. That’s how we can fix that.

  39. The Geode says:

    My name is Edward Stark and there is absolutely NO fear of posting my name or the fear of recriminations of MY opinions. Now that you have my name, now what? Are you going to “beat me up”? I would STILL state my position of “a dog is just a DOG”. I didn’t say you weren’t allowed to love your dog. I have enough humans that love me to not have the need of a “dog’s love”. If you want to say I am a bad person to my face seeing as how I’m no longer “hiding behind a keyboard”, have at it – I need a good laugh.

  40. anonymous says:

    I’m so sorry I moved here. It seemed okay in 2913. But, I agree with the excessive speeding even on my street. This jerk raced his piece of crap and almost hit kids next door. I called police and they talked to the jerk and told me they would have a cop be checking for speeding. But no they did nothing. These cops are sitting side by side chit chatting everywhere I go. They are the worst police I have ever dealt with.
    I called 911 on a guest I allowed two weeks to stay until he found something and he screams and yells, hallucinations and hearing things and I wanted him out and 14 days you are allowed to throw someone out. The cop told me you will have to evict him.
    Then they left and dI’d nothing when they really should have baker acted the ass.
    U got a back yard locked for my dogs fortunately. But, that’s about all I have going. I have tried Craigslist for a roommate as money is hard for most of us except of course Jim landon whof makes a fortune and Secretary does all his work.
    However, I was unsuccessful in several different attempts for roommates and had to constantly call police but what’s the point. They give a case number, your ripped off and they go free and no help for good person
    I really feel unsafe here and think it’s time to sell the house.

  41. anonymous says:

    I have 3 dogs. However, I had two dogs hit by same car and killed both of them and nothing happens to driver. I understand the pain of the poor woman who lost her poor baby. I think it is awful. I was told Flagler sheriff’s dept doesn’t give a crap about animals.
    Yes, I do live in 32164 and it’s awful and just getting worse.
    I would look into voting for rick staly for sheriff’s position. I looked his credential and he seems like the only competent person to vote for a change in Flagler policy of these policies and police.
    Furthermore, whom ever appointed Jim landon for city manager must have been on drugs. He’s awful. I further want to say I’m glad Jon netts, Mayor is incompetent and rude as hell. I’m glad he cant run again. We need new city officoals to straighten out this mess we are in including judges.

  42. The Truth says:

    The Geode:

    Who said anything about ‘beating you up’ or anything similar? No one did. What many posting on here are simply trying to say is that a driver has a responsibility when they’re driving their vehicle on any road to be aware of their surroundings and respect others and their pets. While you feel a dog is just a dog, to many others a dog is a family member. Max did not dart into traffic. He was on a leash, on the side of the road with his owner. The driver of the vehicle was negligent, oblivious to their surroundings and speeding. How anyone can defend the driver in this circumstance is beyond me, but you have yet again proved me to how incredibly dense some people are.

    Based on your last post, I guess anyone who enjoys and appreciates the love of a dog doesn’t have enough human love in their life? After each of your posts I continue to think it just can’t get any worse but you prove me wrong each and every time. Perhaps one day you will understand and appreciate that the love from an animal is just as important to pet lovers as the love of a human. In fact, a pet will love you unconditionally despite your flaws while humans tend to sit back and judge others. Yes, a pet would even love you unconditionally, although based on your comments you’d never allow one too.

  43. AmazonWife says:

    We need to remember that Mrs. DiBella was not wrong here. The driver was wrong to speed on a residential road and not stopping after striking poor max. This story is not about what people think about dogs. The people who don’t understand this are just plain stupid. They either do not know how to read and comprehend this article or are just like the driver of the white van who still has not shown their disgusting face. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. This driver was wrong end of story. In response to Geode and my last response to him is that obviously you cannot read because no where in these posts has anyone made any remark about beating you up so that was pointless. Maybe you should reread the article to understand Mrs. DiBella was not wrong and had her dogs on a leash. She was not walking on a major highway but was on a residential road. I guess we can’t expect anything else from you bc you obviously would do the same thing as that driver did. I have no want or need to ever meet someone like you or even waste my time say thing this to your face. I have no reason to be scared bc I know you can’t do anything to me so laugh all you want and remember how you live your life will determine where you will end up in either heaven or hell.

  44. woody says:

    To Amozonwife,I agree with you 100% police cannot tickets for loud music.If the death penalty was an option people would STILL yap on their phones.The only real fix is if caught using while driving run over there phone with the sheriff’s patrol car.Just sayin

  45. The Geode says:

    The Truth: That was in response to “AmazonWife” who said I was hiding behind a keyboard with ridiculous screen name. I don’t hide. Sure, I am an opinionated bastard and sometimes my OPINIONS rub people the wrong way. I have a right to an opinion just as you do. We don’t have to agree with each other’s opinion but we have to tolerate them and sometimes ignore them. If poor little old “dense” me can figure that out and be civil – why can’t obviously “more enlightened”, intelligent and “my opinion is better than yours” people like you and “AmazonWife” figure that out?

  46. The Geode says:

    “AmazonWife” I will not end up in either place because neither exist. However, your erroneous assessment of me is a little askew. If you’d met me or even KNEW me, you’d know that wasn’t a threat of any kind. I wish no ill-will on anybody. The “beat me up” comment was sarcasm. Of course you couldn’t “beat me up”. BTW – if there was indeed a “heaven”, I would have a better chance to make than a lot of people that YOU know. BE good.

  47. anonymous says:

    My condolences to max mom and family. I’m so sorry this happened if you need anything to help you through your loss. I would be glad to help you. U could post a message and I will give u my phone number and name.

  48. The Truth says:

    The Geode:

    You are free to have whatever opinion you want, but when you make a comment that a “dog is just a dog” insinuating that you wouldn’t make every effort to save a dogs life if it were in the street speaks volumes about your character. We don’t have to agree on anything and we won’t. I was raised and live my life to love everyone and everything and treat people with respect and when I am driving a vehicle I will do everything in my power to avoid hitting a pedestrian OR their pet, plain and simple. If more people operated a vehicle with this mindset we’d have far fewer tragedies occurring on our roadways. It’s sad that you can’t see this, but I will clearly not be changing your mind nor will anyone else here nor will you be changing mine.

  49. The Geode says:

    Yup. That was big of you. A dog is still a DOG.

  50. AmazonWife says:

    To Geode,
    You have yet to say whether or not you believe the driver was wrong or right. What do you believe?

  51. Ed says:

    Really people .first off the driver is wrong for not at least stopping. But none of you had a radar on the car. Or we would know who the driver was. It is very said but this is a nation wide problem of idiot drivers failing to observe their paths.
    But for everyone that hates your town. Why you there if it’s so bad.
    And all you keyboard Rambo’s get a life .
    One person said how to find the car and driver. If all the people in the close proximity would pull there video cameras and times in this situation. Then they could forward this to FCSO or Animal control for charges.
    But everyone playing a blame game or trying to guess if this car was speeding. It’s people like yourselves that are just bored and talking out the wrong end.if this is your home town everyone should stick together to get with the local Athurities and figure out ways to make it safer for anyone or thing to walk your streets but this city apparently was not thinking about children or dogs or people walking. When they forgot to put sidewalks in as most areas have to keep the automobiles and people and their animals safe.
    So work together and find the person who carelessly struck this Womens dog and almost her to. And it did say it was about dusk not dark so the vest would not have been no more visible then then a white shirt. And have of the people posting here do it on a very frequent basis. So if you have this much time spend it making your community safer not sit back and talk about it All The Time .since some are so smart and can fix the world’s problems get it done and show it not sit there at the darn keyboard badgering people who just had an awful experience. And some consider their animals their children or family nothing wrong with that either but if you know them streets are this unsafe why would we as their parents or guardian allow them to walk on a Speedway as some have said . But it’s very sad that we can’t walk the roads because of the lack of respect of others.
    So Please Work together to find a way to locate this car not sit and talk trash to each other. Makes you more inconsiderate then that driver who knowingly or not struck that dog that made this poor lady have to put one of her own to death. And this person couldn’t even be grown enough to stop and apologize. People can make a break a community WHAT’S Y’ALL’S CHOICE

  52. The Geode says:

    If the driver was speeding. The driver was wrong. If the driver intentionally hit the dog. The driver was wrong. If the driver hit the dog and drove off as if nothing happened. The driver was wrong. Absent these facts – who is to blame?
    My premise from the start is/was people want to put animals on the same level as humans and if someone walked their CHILD as lackadaisically as they do their DOGS, we’d have a much larger issue. I don’t know who to blame. That’s why I wasn’t part of the “lynch mob”.
    I know I live in a world where everyone like to go “half-cocked” with righteous indignation but, as a person who ex often experiences the “half-cocked” assumptions and preconceived notions of the masses – I’ve learned to not visit it upon others. Empathy? I’m working on that…

  53. The Truth says:

    The Geode: As stated in the article, the driver did hit Max and drove off as if nothing happened. This is a FACT. There has been no lynch mob whatsoever, the facts are pretty clear. No one has put animals on the same premise as humans, but that doesn’t making the unnecessary death of animal any easier to take. Tragedy happens every day in our community and throughout our country and world. Everyone clearly understands that but it doesn’t take away from the fact that a careless driver was not paying attention and not only killed poor little Max but never even stopped to acknowledge the mistake.

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