A dog that ran away after surviving a hit-and-run crash that killed one of its owners on Christmas Eve has been found.

Sammi, a black Lab mix, has been reunited with Norman Shtab, 83, who lost his 81-year-old wife Phyllis in the crash on Cedar Swamp Road.

Shtab had been turning from the Route 195 off ramp when their Mercedes was struck by a Silverado that police say was driven by Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez. The driver of the other car ran away from the scene and has not been arrested.

Phyllis Shtab died Saturday at Jersey Shore University Medical Center while Norman Shtab was released.

Alcazar-Sanchez has been charged with knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license while being involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in death.

Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez
Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

Sammi ran away after being taken to a family member's home at the Oak Tree mobile home park in Jackson following the crash.

The couple's daughter, Michelle Platzer, told New Jersey 101.5 that her parents' other car helped coax the dog out of hiding.

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"My sister-in-law Gladys Strong drove around in our parent’s other car all night and left a scent trail and then left the car in the driveway with the doors and windows open. He showed up a little after 5 a.m. at the front door and he ran right inside," Platzer said.

Plazter said Sammi got a steroid shot and an antibiotic from the vet and is in good health.

Billhimer asked anyone with information about the crash to call the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027 or Jackson police at 732-928-1111.

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