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Saying goodbye to Aspen, dog killed with foster dad, baby, in SUV accident

Aspen found dead after accident
Aspen found dead after accident
Tuscarawas County Humane Society / Facebook

They were nice people. The Guthrie’s went out of their way to help a dog who had been living in a shelter for a year and a half. And then came the heartbreaking news: an SUV accident took the life of the Dennison, Ohio man and his baby daughter, and injured his wife and another daughter. But the tragedy doesn't end there. Sunday’s 19 Action News reports that Aspen, the shelter dog they were helping, was found dead.

On Thursday night, the Guthrie's SUV took a sharp curve at the U.S. 30 off ramp to I-77 South in Canton. Their vehicle hit a concrete barrier, then crashed down a 100 foot embankment. The SUV rested in the Nimisillen Creek, trapping Paul Guthrie, his wife Kymberlie, and their two young daughters inside.

Also in the car was Aspen, an American bulldog pit bull mix who was being fostered by the Guthrie’s.

Paul T. Guthrie, 23, driver of the vehicle, was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center. Gabriella Guthrie, 3 months, died at Akron Children's Hospital.

Kymberlie Guthrie, 26, was transported to Akron General Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. Emelyn Guthrie, 1, was listed in stable condition at Akron Children's Hospital.

For days after the accident, Aspen could not be located. Hundreds of volunteers looked for the missing dog, and hoped for the best. Dog paw prints in the mud gave searchers hope that Aspen was still alive.

Tuscarawas County Humane Society Shelter Director Lindsey Lewis told Fox8 that on Wednesday, Kymberlie Guthrie wanted to take him on a day visit to a relative’s house “so people could see Aspen in a home environment and see he is a very friendly dog and it helps him to find a home when people see something like that.”

A Facebook page named Find Aspen was set up to help in the search. On Sunday, however, the search was over. Aspen was found dead in the water.

A service will be held for Aspen on Sunday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the shelter located at 6895 Dover Zoar Road. A post on the Tuscarawas County Humane Society Facebook page says:

“Anyone who would like to join us to say goodbye to our beloved Aspen we will be having a candle light vigil.”

Click here for the GoFundMe Memorial Fund, set up to help with funeral and medical expenses for the family. Donations can also be made in the Guthrie’s name at Huntington Bank branches.