Dramatic video footage of two employees and a dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind narrowly escaping a backwards-driving car on a downtown San Rafael sidewalk has become an Internet sensation.

As of Monday, more than 629,000 people had viewed the YouTube video of Todd Jurek, a training supervisor for Guide Dogs for the Blind, pushing a fellow employee and guide dog out of harm's way on June 10 when he noticed the dog jerk its head to look behind them. The trio dashed around a corner just seconds before a 93-year-old woman drove in reverse down the sidewalk where they had just been standing.

The extraordinary footage, captured on video by a private security camera mounted on a nearby building, can be viewed at www.marinij.com.

Jurek, 48, of Petaluma, said he didn't expect the video showing him, apprentice instructor Danielle Alvarado, and 18-month-old yellow Labrador retriever O'Neil running for their lives to become such an Internet sensation.

"It's been pretty overwhelming," Jurek said. "It's gone all over. I heard (Monday) morning that the BBC had it and it's all over Facebook."

The video has been aired by numerous television stations and was featured on the "Today" show. Tuesday afternoon, city officials plan to honor Jurek for his quick thinking.

Sierra Fish, marketing coordinator for Guide Dogs for the Blind, said media coverage and attention will continue, as MSNBC's "Caught On Camera" television show plans to visit the Guide Dogs campus later this week.

"I don't think we knew it was going to go as big as it did," Fish said. "We've had people from Italy and Ireland asking us for the footage."

The video shows the trio walking down Fourth Street near E Street, with Jurek walking slightly behind a blindfolded Alvarado as he assesses O'Neil's guide dog skills. When O'Neil turns to looks behind him, Jurek looks to see what caught the dog's attention. Jurek then springs into action, pushing Alvarado around an E Street corner seconds before a black car speeds backwards down the sidewalk, smashing a store window, missing another car and finally coming to rest on the opposite corner of Fourth and E streets.

San Rafael police have said it's possible the driver, a San Rafael resident, put the car in reverse instead of forward, and the angle of the wheels sent her up on the sidewalk. No one was hurt in the incident, but police are requesting a reexamination of the woman by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Police said no decisions have been made yet on whether to ask the court to file charges against the woman. She is not suspected of intoxication and did not appear to have a medical emergency before the incident.

Jurek said he is continuing to train dogs in downtown San Rafael, but has modified his route to avoid that particular intersection.

"Just being on that block, it gets me a little anxious right now," Jurek said.

O'Neil is still in training and Guide Dogs is searching for a good human match for him. If a good match is found in time for the next academy, O'Neil could graduate July 13 -- at which point he'll be headed home with his new owner.

Contact Megan Hansen via email at mhansen@marinij.com or via Twitter at http://twitter.com/hansenmegan