A Brazilian man and his faithful canine travel companion died tragically in a car accident just days before completing the road trip of a lifetime.
Jesse Kozechen, an Instagram influencer and self-proclaimed wanderer, was 29 years old at the time of the accident. He and his Golden Retriever, Shurastey, died immediately on impact.
The adventurous duo was nearing the completion of a lifelong dream: to travel, by car, across the United States, from Brazil to Alaska. At the time of the accident, the pair had just packed up camp in Oregon and were preparing to drive into Canada. The trip was jokingly named “Shurastey or Shuaigow,” a play on “Should I Stay or Should I Go?.”
The pair were traveling in a 1978 Volkswagen Beetle and were camping in a “pop-up” tent attached to the car’s roof. The pair had attempted this trip once before, but their plans were foiled at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to restrictions on border entry. By all accounts, these two vagabond souls were destined to travel the world together. Shurastey adored Jesse, and the feeling was mutual, according to Kozechen’s family.
The accident occurred when Kozechen attempted to pass a line of stopped cars. Instead, he unknowingly swerved directly into oncoming traffic and collided with a Ford Escape that contained one woman and one child. According to all sources, the driver is currently hospitalized but expected to make a full recovery. The child suffered no injuries.
Kozechen and Shurastey were killed instantly, and photos taken at the scene show their infamous Volkwagen completely destroyed. Though, as tragic as this accident was for all involved, Kozechen’s friends and family find it a fitting tribute to their bond that the pair crossed the rainbow bridge together.
Kozechen once said about Shurastey in an Instagram post: “My best friend, my partner and my best company.. without you I would be too lonely to live on this earth, lucky for me to be able to see the love inside your eyes when you look back at me!”
Members of Kozechen’s community have shown love and support to the family in many ways. Some have shared sweet words on the pair’s Instagram or have donated money to the family for funeral costs. Others have created beautiful works of art depicting the two as they will be remembered: adventure buddies until the very end.
Featured Image: Instagram