I’m sure the kids traveling in a South Kitsap School District bus were shocked when their bus hit a black bear along Highway 3. Apparently the bear was crossing the road between Sunnyslope and Gorst when it was struck by a 2010 Infinity sedan. The school bus hit the bear right after the infinity, causing fatal injuries for the mammal. When the bus driver called in the accident to it’s dispatch center, they were advised to keep driving since stopping on the busy highway could have put the children in danger.
The driver of the Infinity didn’t have any personal injuries either but their car did sustain significant damage. According to this news report, the bear was a 225-pound male that may have been around 3 years old. The Department of Fish and Wildlife postulated that the bear was crossing the highway on it’s way towards the Gorst Creek watershed in search of food. Bears don’t go into hibernation until November when the temperatures get very cold. At this time of year, they are busy foraging for berries and other food sources to prepare for the long winter ahead.
As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I regret to say there isn’t a whole lot the Infinity driver could have done differently in this situation. When you’re traveling at a speed of around 55 miles per hour and a bear or deer scampers out in the middle of the road, you don’t have a lot of time to react. Some experts advise against trying to avoid the animal because swerving into oncoming traffic could cause an even more serious accident with potential fatalities. The best thing you can do is to always give the road your full attention when you’re behind the wheel. That means putting down your cell phone or latte to focus on your driving.