First, two Charlotte area motorists ran over and killed alligators. Now comes news a bear has been struck by a car near Interstate 485 and Providence Road Wednesday.
The bear got away, and it’s unclear if it’s the same bear that has been prowling around Matthews’ neighborhoods the past week.
Charlotte TV station WBTV reports motorist Kaleb Romero hit a bear and crashed in south Charlotte just before 10:30 p.m. It happened on Interstate 485 near Exit 57, the Providence Road exit.
The driver told state troopers that the bear ran into nearby woods after being hit, WBTV reported.
“I was just driving down the highway in the left lane,” Romero told WBTV. “Out of the corner of my eye I just see this black bear – probably like 110 pounds – ran out right in front of me. Slammed on my breaks, smoked it.”
The impact stopped Romero’s car and his airbag deployed. He didn’t see where the bear went, WBTV said. The station says troopers found fur in the vehicle’s grill.
Romero had a sense of humor about the crash, despite suffering some chest pain: “I guess it’s the bear that was running around Matthews. He won’t be doing much running any more.”
Charlotte’s fire department responded to the scene and tweeted out: “Well tonight was a first for us...we dispatched on an Motor Vehicle Accident...a car versus a BEAR on I-485.”
Neighbors have reported several bear sightings since the weekend, most of them in neighborhoods, where the bear was going through trash bins. There have also been reports in Union County.
Waxhaw Police posted on Facebook Tuesday evening that a bear has been spotted in the Cureton area across from Lowes store.
“Do not approach the bear! State wildlife says to leave the bear alone and don't approach it,” warned the department.
Angela Thacker Stilwell reported on Facebook that she saw the bear Wesley Chapel area crossing Weddington Road.
“He was just down the road from the Target shopping center on Weddington crossing the street,” she wrote. :It looks like a very young bear he is quite tiny and was by himself.”