Collision Kills Bear, Totals Car; Passengers OK

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Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

A three-year-old bear was hit around 5 a.m. this (Tuesday) morning at about mile 10 on the Chiniak Highway near the AC Express store. The bear left the scene of the accident but was later found dead in the woods across from Java Flats.

Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Chris Hill estimates damage to the 2009 Ford Escape at $12,000. The driver, Keith Morin, and his passenger were traveling southbound to the rocket launch facility.

"He’s okay, his passenger is also okay," said Hill. "His passenger received just a bloody nose from the airbag."

While the speed limit is 55 miles-per-hour where the accident occurred, bear crossings and sightings are common in the area. Sergeant Hill offers this advice for drivers in the area:

"Everywhere in that area I think most of the locals know that there has been a lot of bear viewing, people pulling over to watch the bears. They should always exercise due caution when other vehicles are stopped looking at the bears. They need to make sure they pull of to the side of the road."

The bear’s hide and skull were salvaged by the troopers and will be auctioned off during Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage.

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