Image: Ginger
An undated photo released by Robert Machin shows his pet Boston terrier, Ginger, center, with two unidentified dogs. Authorities say Machin was about to put Ginger and his other dog into a car on Thursday, when sanitation sweeping truck appeared and sucked Ginger up as he held her leash.
updated 6/14/2008 9:14:10 PM ET 2008-06-15T01:14:10

A street-sweeping truck roaring down a Bronx street sucked up a dog and killed her as her owner held the leash.

Robert Machin said he had just finished walking his two Boston terriers and was about to put them into his car when the truck appeared Thursday morning. The retired transit worker said he was suddenly whipped around and saw one of the dogs, Ginger, being swallowed by the sweeper's round bristles.

"I went berserk at that moment because I couldn't believe what had occurred," he said Saturday.

Machin said he yelled at the driver to stop, but the truck kept going. He and friends chased the truck for 2 1/2 blocks before catching up with it. Ginger's slight body was later pulled from the sweeper.

The city Department of Sanitation called the death "a rare and unfortunate accident."

A heartbroken Machin questioned whether the driver was observing proper procedures, saying the truck seemed to barreling through the street at an unsafe speed.

The heartbroken Machin, 57, choked up as he described losing Ginger. With his children grown, he said, "These two dogs, they're my life."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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