Teenager Taylor Stinchcomb loved her dog Romulus
After two happy years, Romulus became ill with cancer and the family discussed putting the dog to sleep. Stinchcomb, loyal to her core, was shattered. So Tuesday morning, authorities said, she did something desperate: She loaded Romulus into her parents' minivan without permission and fled the house.
She picked up a friend, also 15, who was behind the wheel when the van flew off a rural Lake County road and struck several trees and a utility pole. Stinchcomb was killed in the crash, while the driver suffered minor injuries. The dog did not survive.
"He was with her till the end, literally," family friend Casey Fallos said.