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Local teen takes action after speeder kills his dog

Taylor Sorensen, 13, displays his homemade poster on Knute Anderson Road in Silverdale shortly after a speeding driver hit his dog and never stopped. He hopes his sign will encourage drivers to slow down.  - Courtesy photo
Taylor Sorensen, 13, displays his homemade poster on Knute Anderson Road in Silverdale shortly after a speeding driver hit his dog and never stopped. He hopes his sign will encourage drivers to slow down.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Taylor Sorensen and his family watch drivers speed down Knute Anderson Road in Silverdale everyday.

But they never imagined a speeding driver would take the life of their beloved German Shepherd.

Taylor, a Central Kitsap Junior High School seventh-grader, adopted his dog from the Kitsap Humane Society. Taylor volunteers at the shelter and found Bella while helping families take photos with their pets and Santa a couple of years ago.

“We found her when Taylor was volunteering for Santa photos,” said Monica Sorensen, Taylor’s mother.

Bella was Taylor’s first dog and the pair spent lots of time together bike riding, going on camping trips and skateboarding.

But on Sept. 2, Bella wandered into the road in front of the family’s Silverdale home and was struck by a speeding motorist. She received massive trauma from the incident and was put to sleep two hours later.

“It was pretty immediate,” Monica said.

Bella was just three days shy of her second birthday when she was killed. Monica estimates the driver was traveling about 45 mph in a 25 mph zone.

“We know the dog had been on the road, but if he’d (driver) been going 25 mph it wouldn’t have been nearly as traumatic an injury,” she said.

The speeding motorist didn’t stop to see how badly Bella was injured or help Monica move the 80-pound dog from the roadway. She had to call Kitsap Animal Control to move the large animal out of the road.

“I wouldn’t have been so angry if he had stopped and helped me pick her up,” Monica said.

Taylor got to say goodbye to Bella shortly before a veterinarian put his cherished pet to sleep.

“Taylor did get to say goodbye to her, which was nice,” Monica said.

Shortly after Bella’s death, Taylor decided to take action. He created a blue poster, complete with photographs of his dog, that read, “A speeding driver killed my dog. Please slow down.”

Monica said the sign does seem to be working and drivers are slowing down.

“Sometimes I’ll see people stop and back up to read it then drive forward and slow down,” Taylor said.

Monica said many children walk along Knute Anderson Road to and from nearby Silverdale Elementary School. The road has no sidewalks and motorists frequently drive well above the posted speed limit of 25 mph, according to Monica.

“There’s a housing development at the end of the road, so there’s pretty heavy traffic on the road and no sidewalk,” she said. “There’s a lot of dogs and a lot of kids.”

Monica said she has watched Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies patrol Dickey Road for speeding motorists, but would like to see them monitor Knute Anderson Road as well. She also has spoken with her neighbors who have expressed an interest in having a sidewalk put in along the road.

“People do need to slow down more because there are kids who walk home on the road,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s blue poster is beginning to show signs of wear and tear, so he has started to create a new poster to take its place.

“This time it was my dog, next time it could be a kid,” Taylor said. “I just want them to slow down.”

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