A bear was killed in a single-vehicle collision just after 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The incident took place on Highway 49, near McKnight Way. The bear was crossing the road when it was struck by mid-size sedan and knocked onto the shoulder of the roadway.
“The driver was kind of distraught, but we couldn’t tell if it was because he killed the bear or because his car was totaled,” said Justin Barnthouse, an officer with the California Highway Patrol.
The driver was unharmed, Barnthouse said. The only casualty in the accident was the dead bear — which was reportedly loaded on to the back of the tow truck and delivered to the CHP office.
Barnthouse estimated the bear’s weight at 350 pounds. Normally the carcass would be picked up by Caltrans or California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“We get a couple of these a year,” Barnthouse said. “We’ve learned over the last several years, we need to take care of something like these really quickly.”
“People will come and dissect the bear within an hour if you leave it there,” he added.
Relatives of the driver told The Union that CHP personnel indicated the bear may have been scavenging household garbage, and asked that residents be mindful to avoid attracting wildlife to populated areas.
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