Another Bear/Car Incident, This Time In WA

Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Bear Hunting Magazine
Photo Provided By Washington Police

Last Friday, a Lane County, Washington woman was driving on Lorane Highway, approximately seven miles southwest of Eugene, when she hit a male black bear with her car. The Honda Accord hit the bear in the passenger side front area. The bear died at the scene. The incident caused an estimated $9,000 in damaged to the Accord.

The driver escaped serious injury in the collision, but the impact crushed the front end of her car and activated its airbag, which knocked the wind out of her and burned her hand. She stated that she did not have time to hit the brakes before impact as the bear came out of nowhere.

A Washington state fish and wildlife biologist stated that he was not incredibly surprised by the accident nor the number of local bear reports being received, which tend to come this time of year.

The mild early spring conditions meant abundant green grass in the hills surrounding the south Willamette Valley. This helped the bears in the area not have to go far to find food after they emerged from their dens. But that grass has begun to go to seed, forcing the animals to hunt elsewhere for adequate food sources. This has the bears now starting to move more looking for food.

Car vs. bear collisions occur in Lane County at least once or twice each year. Oregon is home to an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 black bears.

Go Back