TAMPA (FOX 13) - There were some tense moments along the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway as drivers tried to box in and rescue a wayward pup running along the busy Tampa highway. The video was shared thousands of times online, and that pup was reunited with its owner Friday evening.
It all started in the eastbound lanes of the expressway, where it crosses the Hillsborough River. Nate Bennett said he joined two other drivers in their cars Friday - working together to direct a dog, with its leash still attached, away from traffic.
Eventually, one car moved close to the dog and the scared pup jumped up onto the railing, where it appeared it was about to fall. Fortunately, the driver of the car next to Bennett stopped and a man named Carlos Ramos jumped out to save the pooch.
Bennett kept driving, relieved the dog was off the busy street. Meanwhile, Ramos and his girlfriend took to Facebook, trying to find the dog's owner. Their posts quickly spread to many Bay Area residents' social media feeds - and it worked.
Chip Kelley saw the post after searching for the dog - named Max - all day. His daughter, Hannah, along with her fiance and Max, were driving along a road just off the expressway when they were in an accident. Max jumped from the window of the car and ran off.
"The last thing I remember is losing control of the car, hitting the median in between the exit and the interstate, hearing the dog bark, and then a few seconds later, the dog is gone," Hannah's fiance Nicholas Gordon said.
Hannah was injured in the crash, but insisted Nicholas go look for Max instead of riding with her in the ambulance to the hospital. Little did they know, Max was being scooped up and kept safe by a Good Samaritan at about the same time.
A few phone calls later, Max and Chip Kelley were reunited and Kelley was able to thank the caring strangers who helped rescue his friend.
"If I had a million dollars, I'd give you a million dollars," Kelley told Ramos and his girlfriend when they handed Max, unharmed, over Friday evening. "He's a wonderful dog. Looking at the footage just petrifies me. I can't imagine him running all that way, because that was quite a distance."