2 bears fatally struck by vehicles on 5 Freeway in Castaic area within 24 hrs

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A bear is seen at Sequoia National Park in this undated file photo. (Getty Images)

A bear is seen at Sequoia National Park in this undated file photo. (Getty Images)

Two bears were struck and killed by vehicles on the 5 Freeway in the Castaic area within 24 hours, California Highway Patrol officials said Friday.

A Toyota Prius going northbound on the freeway struck a bear that had wandered onto the lanes near Lake Hughes Road around 4 a.m. Friday, CHP Sgt. Zachary Emmons told KTLA.

The bear died immediately upon impact, he said.

The driver was not injured in the collision, according to Emmons.

Further north around 11 a.m. the day before, CHP received reports of a dead bear on the northbound 5 Freeway near the Smokey Bear off-ramp.

Officers arrived to find a bear that had been killed after being struck by a vehicle, but it’s unclear who hit it, according to the sergeant.

“Somebody must have hit it and kept going,” Emmons said.

The sergeant said it’s unclear why the bears had wandered onto the freeway, and said it’s very unusual that they would be on the roadway in that area.

“We rarely receive calls of this nature,” Emmons said. “It is unusual that we received two calls within two days — within 24 hours.”

He advised motorists who encounter a bear on the freeway to stay in their cars and call 911 immediately.

Traffic incidents involving bears make up about 2% of all wildlife-related traffic incidents reported to CHP, according to a 2017 UC Davis report.

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