Collier County EMS truck hits bear along Tamiami Trail

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NAPLES, Fla.- Florida Fish and Wildlife officials were forced to euthanize a bear that was severely injured after being hit by a Collier County EMS truck.

The EMS crew involved in the crash late Monday night on Tamiami Trail East, near Port of the Islands Marina, wasn’t injured but they were noticeably upset.

Residents in the area say they’ve seen the bear, estimated between 250 to 300 pounds, for the past week, picking through dumpsters.

“We have them every once in a while, they like to get into the garbage and stuff,” said Terry O’Neal.

Florida wildlife officials say vehicle collisions are responsible for 90 percent of known bear deaths.

“It’s a black bear in the middle of the road, of course you’re gonna hit it, how are you gonna see it?” said Joanie Barry, the chef at Angler’s Cove restaurant.

Barry says the bear has been dumpster diving for the past week.

“We tell all the guests, ‘there’s a bear in the area. Stay away from the trash cans,'” said Barry.

“It’s unfortunate and particularly an EMS truck, they are paying attention,” said Ron Gilbert.

The Florida Highway Patrol recommends driving slower at night to help prevent hitting any wildlife that may cross roads unexpectedly.

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