A Missouri trooper’s dashboard camera caught a bear’s mad dash as it crossed a south-central Missouri highway and crashed into a pickup truck.
The bear was not seriously injured when it crossed U.S. 60 near Missouri Route AM north of Willow Springs in rural Howell County.
The incident, which happened June 21 and was posted to the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Facebook page, is a reminder to drivers to be aware of their surroundings and watch out for animals that could enter the road, be it a deer or a bear, said Lt. Paul Reinsch, a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol.
The patrol warned that as the bear population increases in Missouri, the number of incidents involving them will rise.
A crash creates the potential for a dangerous encounter with an injured bear. If a vehicle strikes a bear on the highway, people should stay inside the vehicle and contact the Highway Patrol by dialing *55 on their mobile phones or calling 800-525-5555.
Drivers should avoid the urge to swerve when they see an animal run onto the roadway.
“It’s better to hit an animal than to swerve and lose control,” Reinsch said.
The incident is also an example of the importance of wearing a seat belt in case something unexpected happens — like a bear dashing onto the roadway.