Authorities Looking for Vehicle That Fatally Struck Bear on Oregon Highway
We told you over the weekend about the family that escaped serious injury after hitting a dead bear lying on the road on I-84 East of Pendleton Saturday night. Now, officials are looking for the vehicle that hit the bear in the first place.
Around 11pm just East of Pendleton, a family of three were headed Eastbound when the driver changed lanes to avoid what turned out to be a scattering of plastic and some metal car parts in the right hand lane.
Just after changing lanes, the driver struck a dead bear lying in the road. The impact threw the car to the shoulder, it rolled at least once down the embankment, coming to a rest on it's wheels. Fortunately, the husband and wife sustained only minor injuries, their one-year-old daughter was not injured. She was, according to Oregon State Patrol troopers, properly restrained in a car seat.
Now, officials are trying to find the vehicle that they suspect struck and killed the bear. Officials didn't indicate if any clues or information was obtained from the car parts in the road. However, they say it's pretty obvious another motorist struck and killed the bear, probably as it was trying to cross the highway. The other driver obviously didn't stick around after that accident.
Officials say colliding with a bear hard enough to kill it would have left significant damage to the vehicle, probably enough to render a typical car, truck or minivan undriveable. Because of that, they suspect the vehicle may have been a semi, or larger truck.
The investigation continues. Even if the collision with such an animal was unavoidable (such as a bear, cow or moose etc) most of the time drivers who don't stick around or report the accident are ticketed for leaving the scene.