Black bear struck, killed by 5 vehicles on Florida interstate

A black bear crossing an interstate highway in southwest Florida was struck by five vehicles and killed early Thursday, closing southbound lanes for several hours, according to the Naples Daily News.

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The crash occurred at 5:33 a.m. on I-75 near Bonita Beach, the Florida Highway Patrol said. All five of the vehicles hit the bear, which walked onto the highway, despite efforts to swerve away from the animal, WBBH reported.

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The collision also caused a tractor-trailer to overturn, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The pileup caused the closure of two right southbound lanes of the interstate.

According to a crash report released late Thursday, the bear was originally hit by a Ford F-250 truck driven by 48-year-old Roman Melnik of Duncan, North Carolina, the News reported. The truck pulled over and stopped, but then the bear was hit by a Nissan Maxima driven by Shannon Ring, 24, of Fort Myers.

A Mack truck driven by an unidentified 52-year-old man then hit the bear and overturned, striking the other vehicles, the newspaper reported.

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Also hitting the bear were Kerry Kanes, 45, of Cape Coral; and Devin Morande, 23, of Fort Myers, the News reported. Morande suffered minor injuries and was a taken to an area hospital, the newspaper reported.

Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission removed the bear from the scene, WFTX reported.

Credit: Kevin Phillips/Pixabay

Credit: Kevin Phillips/Pixabay

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