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Bear killed in vehicle crash on HWY 101 in Atascadero

KEYT

ATASCADERO, Calif. - California Highway Patrol said that a bear was struck and killed in a vehicle crash on Highway 101 in Atascadero Saturday morning.

The crash happened around 5:20 a.m. near Santa Rosa Road.

CHP said a white BMW 525i was traveling in the southbound number one lane of Hwy 101 just south of Santa Rosa when a bear walked out from the center median in front of the car.

Officers said it was dark at the time and the bear was struck by the vehicle.

The bear was pronounced dead at the scene and its body was later removed by Caltrans.

Responding officers said the bear appeared to be young, weighing a couple hundred pounds. It is unclear why the bear was so close to town. Officers guessed it was looking for food or preparing for hibernation when it wandered toward the highway.

The involved vehicle was damaged and had to be towed from the scene. Fortunately, the passengers and driver were not injured.

CHP said no road closures were in place during the incident.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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