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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dazed and confused: Bear comes off worse with more than a sore paw after crash with biker

By Daily Mail Reporter

Dangerous: John Hearn had been cycling the 12 miles to work at around 6am when he was struck by a black bear (file picture)

A cyclist on his way to work had the shock of his life when he crashed into a 300lb black bear.

Instead of being attacked by the animal following the accident, however, the bear got up, looked a bit dazed from the collision and then retreated into the woods.

John Hearn, from Panama City, Florida, was on his 12-mile commute to the Tyndall Air Force Base when he hurtled into the bear at 23mph.

He described the collision as being 'like getting tackled by a furry, toned, bony body in football.'

Other motorists looked on in horror as the bear came out of nowhere and crashed into Mr Hearn.

He said: 'I saw something big and black out of the corner of my eye.

'Then it hit me and I felt bear all over my leg,' he told Northwest Florida Daily News.

Destination: Mr Hearn always cycles to work at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida

Mr Hearn was knocked off his bike as he cycled along U.S. 98.

Witness Debbie McLeod said: 'At first I didn't know what happened. The bear was flying across the road from the left side to the right.

'I thought he was going to miss the rider, but then I saw the fluorescent coloured vest fly up in the air, and knew the bear hit him.'

Apart from a frew grazes and a mangled bike, Mr Hearn was okay.

He added that in the last four years he has been hit by cars twice.

'This is by far the worst damage done to my body and my bike,' he said.

'We must've been going almost the same speed. But sadly, the bear didn't have insurance so I can't do anything about it.

Lt Stan Kirkland of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the incident was 'unusual.'

'You hear about people seeing bears, but never being hit by one. That’s usually about deer or wild hogs,' he said.



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