SUTHERLIN, OR (CBS Local) – A driver was lucky to escape injury after colliding with a bear that wandered onto an Oregon highway.
According to KVAL, the driver was traveling in a Tesla electric car southbound on Interstate-5 when the black bear stepped into traffic and was killed. The April 24 incident wrecked the front of the electric vehicle, however local authorities say the driver was only shaken up by the crash.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife asked police to take a tooth from the dead bear so the agency can gauge how old the animal was. “This goes into our population model that tracks estimates size of population,” Fish and Wildlife’s Michelle Dennehy added.
Although there is no indication that the wrecked Tesla was a self-driving vehicle, some fans of the electric car company are asking why automatic emergency braking systems did not slow the driver down and possibly save the bear.
Oregon police say collisions with large animals like bears and cougars are not uncommon, but happen more often in the fall. The warming temperatures also bring more wild animals out of the woods and closer to human populations. In March, a cougar actually wandered into a vacant Oregon motel room and had to be euthanized.