A New Hampshire woman’s lifelong dream of running the Iditarod was derailed in the most horrific way.
A musher from Wentworth was training in Alaska this week when a truck slammed into her dogs, killing one of them and injuring four others.
"Watching this happen was the most horrifying thing I have lived through in my life," said Jaye Foucher from her house in Alaska.
Along an Alaskan highway, the musher found herself in a panic, trying to protect her dogs from an oncoming truck.
"So, I start waving my hands frantically," she said.
Foucher says the truck never slowed down and hit her front line of dogs, dragging them five truck lengths before coming to a stop.
"They just somehow didn’t see us," she said.
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Her lead dog Noddy was killed instantly.
"He was only 2 years old and he was a really special dog," Foucher said.
Three others were badly injured and a fourth dog ran off.
"These guys, they’re my family, they’re my kids," Foucher said. "I would’ve traded places with my dogs in a heartbeat to have saved them."
Foucher says she’s heartbroken, but Friday morning, there was a glimmer of hope.
After two days, Felicity, the dog that ran from the crash, found her way back home all on her own.
"I cannot tell you the sense of relief I had to open the door and see her right there," Foucher said.
As Foucher tends to her injured animals, she is also trying to figure out how to still run the Willow 300 on Wednesday.
It’s the final Alaskan qualifier for the Iditarod in March.
"This unfortunately knocked out my four absolute best leaders," she explained.
If it doesn’t happen this season, Foucher says it’ll be next year.
And after the horror of this week, the New Hampshire native’s first Iditarod will take on a whole new meaning. She says she will do it for Noddy.
"I will certainly bring his ashes along with me, I will definitely do that," Foucher said.
If she doesn’t run the Willow next week, she’ll come back home to the Granite State soon and then try again next winter.