Photo: Hoopa Fire And Office Of Emergency Services Fire Chief Rod Mendes
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A hit-and-run bear dropped out of the sky, landing on top of a Humboldt County sheriff deputy’s cruiser that was responding to a call on Highway 96 near Weitchpec last weekend, authorities said.
The bruin smashed the hood and windshield, causing the vehicle to strike an embankment, flip over and catch fire. The flames engulfed the car and ignited vegetation, sparking a wildfire.
According to reports from KRCR-TV, the sheriff’s office and Caltrans, the deputy was responding with lights flashing and sirens blaring to a report of a drug overdose near Orleans about 11 p.m. Saturday when the bear apparently fell or jumped off a steep embankment and crashed into his patrol car.
The deputy, who was not identified, managed to escape the burning vehicle and was not seriously injured.
The fire spread to a hillside, scorching about a half-acre before being extinguished by the Hoopa Fire and Hoopa Volunteer Fire departments.
The bear fled the scene of the accident. Its condition and whereabouts were unknown.
Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Falling-bear-Humboldt-deputy-crash-wildfire-14291357.php.