Several people were airlifted to Broward County hospitals following a bizarre and deadly accident that involved a black bear and multiple vehicles out in the Everglades
According to reports, a Cadillac SUV traveling on Big Cypress Seminole Reservation struck a black bear Sunday evening. Tragically, three people who were traveling in a separate vehicle and stopped to come to the aid of the people traveling in the SUV were then struck and killed by another oncoming vehicle.
The black bear was also killed in the accident, according to Seminole Police.
Seminole Police Department spokesman Gary Bitner told The Associated Press that a total of 13 people were in the three vehicle accident.
Bitner says the accident happened around 6:58 p.m. Sunday night on Snake Road, not far from mike marker 49 on Alligator Alley. When the SUV struck the bear, three good Samaritans tried to help out the three people in the Cadillac. But, a third car -- a Mercedes -- struck the three people trying to help out. The two occupants of the Mercedes, which included a 14-year-old boy, were injured. The three that were struck reportedly died in the accident.
Bitner also confirmed that several others had been injured in the three-vehicle accident.
"We've never had an accident involving a black bear," Bitner told the AP. He also said four people were severely injured and were flown by helicopter to a hospital. Four others were taken by ambulances. According to Bitner, the woman driving the SUV who hit the bear was uninjured.
"There are bears all through the Everglades, but this is the first time we've had an accident involving a bear," Bitner said via the Sun-Sentinel.
According to Broward County Sheriff's Office, six people were transported to the hospital by air and ground.
Black bears are Florida's largest mammal, and it is estimated that there are more than 3,000 in the state. Unfortunately encounters with black bears in Florida aren't that rare of a thing.
Last year, an Orlando woman was chased by a black bear while she was out walking her dog. Earlier this year, a Lake Mary woman was attacked and mauled by a black bear, with some reports saying that there may have been at least two other bears involved in the attack. The woman ultimately recovered from her wounds.
Several bears were hunted down and killed following the attack on the woman.