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Medic adopts dog after owner dies in vehicle crash

The family of the owner would have put down the dog after the driver died in a vehicle collision

FAIR PLAY, S.C. — A tractor-trailer and a car collided Sunday morning after the car driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Gary A. Stephens, 60, was driving the semi on a highway when a sedan started to spin around in front of him. He swerved to avoid the car, left the road and crashed into a tree, WYFF reported.

Stephens didn’t survive but his 14-year-old dog, Cosmo, who was traveling with him did.

Sandy and Cosmo (Crystal Brown Facebook photo)
Sandy and Cosmo (Crystal Brown Facebook photo)

Stephens’ family requested the dog be cremated and buried with him because the two were so close. Cosmo has medical problems that require prescriptions.

The family said, however, they would have been open to finding the dog a new home, if someone was willing to adopt him.

Enter the EMS providers from Fork Rescue Squad who responded to the crash. One of the responding medics initially took in Cosmo, but another medic from the crew, Sandy, decided to adopt him.

"Thank you so much for taking Cosmo in. The original story saddened me greatly, happy to hear Cosmo is safe," Gill Gignilliat wrote on the department’s Facebook page.

The woman who was driving the sedan wasn’t injured and told police she had fallen asleep while driving.

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