Maine State Police Trooper Chris Pina was alerted to a rollover crash on Interstate 95 on Sunday evening after Willow, a brown dog covered in mud and scratches, crossed in front of his vehicle while he was parked in a crossover near exit 227. Credit: Courtesy of the Maine State Police

A dog named Willow that was ejected from a vehicle in a rollover crash near Lincoln on Sunday helped alert state police to the scene of the crash.

On Sunday evening at around 5:30 p.m., Maine State Police Trooper Chris Pina had been parked at a crossover near mile marker 227 when he noticed a dog covered in mud and scratches run in front of his vehicle. Pina, who believed that the animal was lost, was able to get Willow into his vehicle and notify dispatch of the stray animal.

Pina then noticed a man on the side of the interstate yelling for help, and upon investigation, found a rollover crash on the southbound side of 1-95 near the on-ramp of exit 227.

An investigation found that the crash occurred when the driver of a green Toyota RAV4, who had been southbound, fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended an SUV that had successfully merged onto I-95, according to the Maine State Police.

Both vehicles rolled several times, with the SUV coming to rest in the ditch, and the RAV4 coming to rest on its roof in the southbound travel lane, officials said.

Willow and another dog were ejected from the SUV at the time of the crash. The other dog, a Doberman named Bentley, could not be located at the time of the crash, but was located and reunited with its owners on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported by the Maine State Police.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.