A Utah Highway Patrol service dog, Tank, was struck and killed Friday morning when he ran out onto Interstate 80.
His handler, Trooper Cham Neff, had pulled over on eastbound I-80 underneath Bangerter Highway, where he normally lets Tank out for a break, said spokesman Cameron Roden. But about 10:30 a.m., the 11-year-old Belgian Malinois ran out into the highway and in the path of a semi-truck.
Running away like that was “really uncharacteristic for Tank,” Roden said.
Tank had been “a giant success” and “has saved countless lives,” according to a post from Neff on the UHP Facebook page. Tank had been with Neff’s family for four years.
Though “thousands of pounds of illegal contraband … and millions of dollars in cash in drug related money has been found,“ Neff wrote in the post, Tank left him too early and had a lot more to find.