Two bears were fatally hit by cars on the same freeway within 24 hours
A bear was fatally struck by a car while walking through traffic on the northbound 5 Freeway in Castaic early Friday, the second fatal bear collision on the same freeway in less than 24 hours, authorities said.
In the most recent incident, the bear died upon impact when it was struck by a Toyota Prius shortly before 4 a.m. Friday, according to the California Highway Patrol. The car skidded into an embankment, but the driver was not injured.
The first incident occurred about 11 a.m. Thursday, Sgt. Zachary Emmons said.
A bear was hit on the right shoulder of the 5 freeway near the Smokey Bear off-ramp, Emmons said. The person who hit that bear left the scene, he said.
It’s unclear why the bears had wandered onto the freeway. “This is something that does not normally happen in our area,” Emmons said.
One possibility could be a decline in traffic, as shelter-in-place orders stemming from the coronavirus have kept more commuters off the road. There has been at least one other incident in the region recently.
Further north along the Grapevine near Fort Tejon, a bear was struck by a car two weeks ago, authorities said.
It’s not uncommon to see a bear collision in that area once or twice a year, CHP public information officer Richard Anthes said. But so far there hasn’t been an uptick of such incidents.
Although traffic along that stretch of the 5 freeway has dropped off by about 35%, Anthes said that it’s not desolate. Trucks are still traveling up and down to distribute supplies.
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