Officials search for bear that was hit by car

A Juneau driver crashed into a black bear off Back Loop Road in the Mendenhall Valley Friday afternoon, prompting the Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Forest Service officials to search for the animal, presumedly wounded.

Police say 21-year-old female driver of the vehicle, whose name was not released, did not report any injuries. The bear could not be found.

“It sounds like the bear just ran out in front of her, and she collided with it, and the bear took off,” Juneau Police Department Sgt. Dominic Branson said in a phone interview Saturday. “I think the Fish and Game folks spent some time trying to find it and never did.”

Police and the other agency officials responded to the incident near Spring Way, which is across from Black Bear Road off Loop Road, around 4:50 p.m.

Branson said the accident caused about $4,500 in damage to the woman’s 1991 Subaru. He could only speculate as to whether the bear was injured.

“Apparently the bear was healthy enough to split the area and go far enough that it couldn’t be found, but what type of injuries was sustained, I wouldn’t know,” he said.

Fish and Game and the Forest Service could not be reached for comment.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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