California Highway Patrol officers reported that a black bear was struck and killed early Monday morning in the northbound side of Highway 14, near Soledad Canyon Road.
Officers noted that while such collisions are somewhat rare, they serve as a reminder to always be alert when behind the wheel.
CHP officers initially responded to a report of a collision in the southbound lanes at 5:07 a.m., according to Officer Josh Greengard, who said officers weren’t aware of the age of the bear, but it was large enough to disable the first vehicle that struck it while it was crossing the road.
“After the first collision with a vehicle, the bear stumbled across the northbound side and was hit again,” Greengard said, noting both vehicles had stopped.
Caltrans officials cleared the animal from the road, he added.
None of the vehicles’ occupants were hurt in either of the collisions, he said.
“It’s not uncommon that we get bears in this area,” Greengard said, adding collisions have happened in the past, another reason why it’s critical to always be attentive while driving.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently reevaluated its management policy to address human/bear conflict for the first time since 2000, in a report issued this spring titled “Black Bear Policy in California: Public Safety, Depredation, Conflict, and Animal Welfare.”
For anyone who wishes to report a sighting, the CDFW has a website: apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir/incident/create.