A Utah County police dog died Tuesday after he ran into traffic near the shore of Utah Lake and was hit by a car.
A Utah County sheriff’s deputy was working with the K-9 Havoc on Tuesday morning in Vineyard when he pulled into a dirt parking lot near the lake to let Havoc relieve himself, according a department news statement.
After Havoc “inspected” the area for a few minutes, he “unexpectedly ran west toward Vineyard Road and the shore area of Utah Lake and Vineyard Beach,” deputies said. “The handler called to Havoc but he did not respond and ran into the road.”
One passing car managed to avoid Havoc, but the next one struck him, according to the release.
Havoc was injured but responsive, and he ran back to the handler. The handler took him to the veterinarian.
“The handler said Havoc looked at him, laid his head in his lap, and died,” deputies said in the news release.
Havoc was a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois who began working with the sheriff's office in 2013.
He was certified in narcotics detection and patrol, and won several awards at police dog trials. Havoc made hundreds of narcotics “finds” in his career, including cases involving more than 10 pounds of heroin and methamphetamine. He also tracked down a number of suspects, deputies wrote.
“When he was away from the job, Havoc loved being active, whether it was chasing a ball, chewing on a toy, or playing with his handler’s family,” deputies said. “Whatever Havoc did, he was all heart. And he will be missed.”