NAPLES, FL. -- A female 285-pound bear was killed early Tuesday morning as the bear and two large cubs tried to cross I-75 in Collier County and entered into the paths of two vehicles.
Michael Bradford, 56 of Fort Myers in a 2011 Mustang traveled south on Interstate 75 on the southbound center lane at 5:45 a.m.. It was cloudy, dark, and there was no street light.
A 285 lbs. female black bear crossed the southbound lanes traveling east and entered the vehicle's path creating an obstruction without warning. The Ford's left front struck the bear's left side causing the vehicle's front airbags to deploy. Bradford brought the vehicle to a controlled final rest faced south on the median south of the area of collision.
The female bear continued to enter the median, crawled under the cable barrier, and succumbed to her injuries.
A 2006 Toyota Corolla, driven by Reuben Hernandez, 55 of Lehigh Acres traveled south on Interstate 75 on the southbound outside lane where there were 2 male black bear cubs approximately 200 lbs. each on the west shoulder. One cub then attempted to cross the southbound lanes traveling east and entered the vehicle's path creating an obstruction without warning. The Toyota's right front struck the cub's head while traveling on the southbound outside lane. The vehicle was brought to a controlled final rest on the west paved shoulder south of the subsequent area of collision.
The cub then traveled west onto the west shoulder, rejoined the other cub, and crossed the berm into the Wilshire Lakes development at Fairhaven Lane. Southbound traffic backed up and three secondary rear end collisions occurred. A FWC biologist responded to remove the dead female bear. The two cubs are still at large in the area. If the bear cubs are spotted please call FWC at 1-888-404-3922.