Black bear killed on I-75; search is on for bear cubs

( - A 285-pound black bear was killed this morning when struck by a car on Interstate 75 in Collier County.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a car driven by Michael Bradford, 56, of Fort Myers was southbound on I-75 a mile south of County Road 846 at 5:30 a.m. when a female bear crossed the lanes into the path of the car. It was cloudy, dark and there was no streetlight. The car struck the bear's left side causing the airbags to deploy in his Mustang.

After being struck, the bear crawled under the cable barrier into the median, where it died.

Meanwhile, another car driven by Ruben Hernandez, 55, of Lehigh Acres, also was southbound around the same time when it struck one of two 200-pound male bear cubs in the head trying to cross the roadway. After being hit, the cub rejoined the other cub, crossed the berm and went into the Willshire Lakes development at Fairhaven Lane.

The FHP said southbound traffic was backed up because of this, causing three rear-end collisions. A FWC biologist removed the dead bear. the two cubs remain at large and if spotted, someone should call the FWC at 1-888-404-3922.

Bradford, the driver of the first car, suffered minor injuries along with a passenger in his vehicle. Hernandez along with a passenger were unharmed, the FHP said.


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