In a tragic incident, a social media influencer and his beloved golden retriever died in a car crash just two days before completing a lifelong dream road trip from Brazil to Alaska.
According to The Independent, 29-year-old Jesse Koz from Bazil and his pet dog Shurastey died instantly last week after his 1978 Volkswagen Beetle entered into a head-on crash with a Ford Escape in Oregon, US. The female driver of the Ford, on the other hand, survived the smash and was taken to a hospital with injuries, while a toddler in the back of the vehicle was uninjured.
The media outlet reported that Mr Koz had travelled across 17 countries in his car with his pet since he first began the trip in 2017. The journey, which was set to end in Alaska, was slowed down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cross-border restrictions that had prevented him from driving across the US-Mexico border.
The 29-year-old was forced to return to his homeland, however, the influencer again resumed his journey in January this year and crossed into the US in February.
The same month, Mr Koz even posted a picture of himself with his dog in front of a sunset. In the caption, he wrote, “I told him how important he was to me, and that I wouldn't have made it this far without his company. He just smiled with his tongue hanging out and breathed not my face. I just wanted to enjoy a sunset in the company of my friend, I know we still have many more to come and as far as it depends on me we will always be together until the sun sets one last time.”
The Brazilian influencer regularly shared images of his expedition with his 5,89,000 Instagram followers. An official page creator for journalising their road trip also collected around 1.4 million followers. According to Independent, the page called “Shurastey or Shuraigow?” is a play on the name of his dog and the song Should I stay or Should I Go by The Clash.
Mr Koz made his last post just four days before his tragic death. In the post, the 29-year-old was seen standing in front of San Francisco's Golden Gate with his beloved dog. Now, following the incident, his social media pages have been flooded with tributes from followers. “The last picture... The last post, the last trip! The best trip is happening now,” wrote one user. “He died as a hero living his biggest dream,” commented another user.
According to New York Post, Mr Koz's family are now in the process of extraditing his body back to Brazil.