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Investigation Clarifies Fatal Bear Accident

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An ongoing investigation by Grand Teton National Park rangers, with assistance from Wyoming Highway Patrol, has clarified the circumstances around a vehicle accident that resulted in the death of a young male grizzly bear on June 21. The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old Pennsylvania man, sustained minor injuries and his sedan incurred significant damage even though it didn’t actually roll as first thought.  Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs says the investigation also shows that while the man thought an oncoming car was about to make a U-turn in front of him, it was actually evading the bear.  Skaggs says the vehicle swerved to avoid the young grizzly bear, and that unexpected maneuver caused the driver of the northbound vehicle to swerve to avoid the southbound car.  He then over-corrected and veered off into the sagebrush on the left side of the road. Then, Skaggs says as the car was careening through the sagebrush, the path of the out-of-control car and the bear met and the bear was fatally injured.  Biologists have taken hair and tissue samples from the bear for DNA testing to determine whether it is related to identifiable grizzlies in the area, but those results are not expected for several weeks.

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