My husband Claude, our dog Zeke, and I spent Memorial Day Weekend with my brother Dan in Blountville, Tennessee, and other family members. On Memorial Day, we enjoyed a great picnic, boating, sunbathing, laughing and having a great time!
We departed my brother’s home about 7:45 pm for our 3.5 hour trip home.
We were driving on I-64 East to our home in Lewisburg, WV. This is a great four-lane highway with two lanes going east and two going west with a large median island between the lanes. Claude and I were about 20 minutes from home and we were talking about what a terrible traffic day we had on I-64 on December 23, 2008-- witnessing several accidents and spending over 15 hours in the car .
All of a sudden, I saw a black bear in the left headlight and then the loudest BOOM ever. We had hit a black bear, the headlight went out and the steering wheel locked on my husband as he was trying his best to keep the car straight. The car was going to the right, off the road.... I closed my eyes and waited for the bumpy ride to stop. I didn’t know what to expect next.... were we going to flip over, go down a hill, hit a tree, or what.... then suddenly the car stopped. There was smoke and fumes in and around the car, our airbags had deployed and we were both coughing. We looked at each and asked “are you okay”. It happened so fast...I saw in a blink of an eye a bear and then the hit.
Thank goodness we were not injured in any way. And Zeke, was still sitting on the back seat looking pretty calm. Claude turns off the car ignition, and gets out of the car. A car with flashing lights had stopped. It was a forest ranger who had seen the accident, and turned around to help us. He called the police and a tow truck. The car was about 30 feet from the road in mud and surrounded by cattails. I sat there crying and thanking God for watching and guiding us to safety.
We told the forest ranger what happened. The ranger and Claude go looking for the bear with a flashlight. Within a few minutes, a Greenbrier County Sherrif's Deputy arrives.... they found the dead bear on the left side of the road in the median island... about 40 feet from where we hit him.
It was late and we needed a ride home...so I called our neighbor Tom Johnson, who is also my broker. Tom was so kind enough to come out after midnight to help us. We arrived home about 1:30 am.
It started out as a great weekend that ended frightfully and could have been worse. A memorial weekend I will not forget! The car might be totaled, but that is okay as we can always get another car. We are just thankful we survived the accident unscathed.
The forest ranger informed us that there are many black bears out this year causing many accidents. So please be very careful while driving at night.