Three people were killed on Sunday while eight others were rushed to a hospital, four by ambulance. Another four were airlifted with injuries ranging from serious to critical condition. The accident was a result of a Cadillac Escalade hitting a back bear that was on Snake Road in the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation in the Florida Everglades, as reported by News Max.
The Cadillac hitting the bear caused a chain reaction involving other vehicles. Sun Sentinel reports that after the driver hit the bear, the three cars behind her, who were traveling in tandem together, pulled over to offer assistance.
Snake Road lives up to its name with all its twists and turns, and is flanked by a canal, making visibility at nearly 7 p.m. difficult, with danger looming as a vehicle comes around a curve unknowingly approaching the scene of an accident.
The vehicle slammed into the Cadillac Escalade that hit the bear, and proceeded to strike three people who had exited their vehicle after they had pulled over in order to check on the driver of the Cadillac.
Seminole Police Department spokesman Gary Bitner said it was already past sunset and dark by that time, as reported by Yahoo! News.
Bitner continues to say that three people who got out of the second vehicle to help the driver of the Escalade were all struck and killed.
“We’ve never had an accident involving a black bear. There are black bears throughout Florida and this is in the Everglades, so there absolutely are black bears in that area.”
Out of the group of 13 travelling together, only two were not injured, including the driver of the Cadillac. Although no names have been released, it has been reported that some of the victims were children.
The bear was killed in the accident.
Although encounters with bears in Florida are sporadic, they do exist. News Max reports that just last week, wildlife authorities in central Florida “captured and killed a bear that was suspected of biting a woman on the arm as she walked her dog” last Wednesday in Lake Mary, a suburb of Orlando.
It was a mama bear with two cubs, which were also captured. One of the cubs was killed in the process, while the other will be released back in the wild in a different location.
Sun-Sentinel reports that the number of bears has drastically increased following the bear hunting ban and the protection of their habitats.
“The rise in both the bear and human population has led to an increase in vehicle collisions. Last year, 230 bears were killed in collisions with vehicles, up from 43 in 1993.”
That is a large increase.
[Photo Credit: WPTV]