Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bicyclist hit by 300 lb. black bear

Like he has been doing three times a week for the past four years, John Hearn got on his bicycle Thursday at 6:10 a.m. to ride12 miles to work at Tyndall Air Force Base. But as he rode along U.S. 98 at 23 miles per hour, his routine was interrupted at 6:40 by something very unexpected. “I saw something big and black out of the corner of my eye,” Hearn said. “Then it hit me and I felt bear all over my leg.” Hearn was broadsided by a black bear that was about 250 to 300 pounds. The collision knocked him, his bike and the bear over. Drivers stopped at the red light on the highway near Tyndall watched in utter shock. “At first I didn’t know what happened,” witness Debbie McLeod said. “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 florescent colored vest fly up in the air, and knew the bear hit him.” The black bear appeared to be shaken, but got up and scurried off into the woods...more

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