The Dog Did It?

Having been blamed for destroying/eating/soiling uncountable sheets of homework since the time papyrus was first employed as paper, man's best friend is now being blamed for causing a bad car accident in Livingston County recently.

According to an article in a Rochester newspaper, a man driving a pickup truck in the Town of Portage claimed he was caused to drift into the oncoming traffic lane by his dog, who was riding in the cab of the truck with him. The pickup truck slammed into a station wagon, causing the driver and his two passengers to be hurt very badly. The driver of the station wagon and an adult friend were taken to Strong Hospital via Mercy Flight helicopters, while the driver's nine year old son was taken to Strong with a severe brain injury.

Does the fact that "the dog did it" relieve the driver of the truck from legal responsibility for this crash? I sure hope not. Even if you buy his claim that Fido was acting up, it is still the driver's fault for not having the dog properly restrained in the first place to prevent him /her from interfering with the safe operation of the vehicle.

What do you think? Is it fair to make the dog a scapegoat ? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?