Driver hits 400-pound bear on Highway 101
April 4, 2016
A Grover Beach woman collided with a bear while driving on Highway 101 Saturday night near Santa Margarita. The crashed killed the bear and caused the woman’s vehicle to flip over and slide about 50 feet down the highway. [Tribune]
Lynai Williams, 21, managed to open the door of her upside down car and get out of the vehicle. She walked away from the crash without any injuries.
Williams said at first she was not sure if she had been hit by another car or a deer. The Grover Beach woman said running into a bear was the last thing she would have expected.
The crash occurred around 11:30 p.m. north of Highway 58. Williams was driving home alone from a Paso Robles bowling alley at the time.
Williams said she was not distracted prior to the accident, and she was wearing a seatbelt. She also said she hopes people are not mad at her for hurting the bear.
CHP Sgt. Timothy Wilson said he could not confirm any information about the crash, but he said it was not unusual for such an accident to occur. Bears and other large animals are known to wander onto Highway 101 north of the Cuesta Grade.
The CHP estimated the bear weighed about 400 pounds. That size is large for a bear.
Caltrans has installed electrified pads on four roads near Tassajara Creek to deter animals from crossing. Caltrans has also been placing barbed-wire fences in the area, which are equipped with special wildlife fencing. It is unclear how successful the measures have been.