'There was nothing I could do,' about hitting, killing bear

VANCOUVER, Wash. - It happened so fast there was no time to react.

The black bear came out of nowhere and slammed into the right fender, denting it, of Marilyn Harker's car early Wednesday afternoon as she was exiting northbound Interstate 205 at Northeast 134th Street.

"There was nothing I could do," she said Thursday. "I was just stunned. I just sat in my car."

She called police and said a coach from Skyview High School and another woman stopped and pulled the bear to the side of the road. The bear took his last breaths there.

Capt. Murray Schlenker with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police was called to respond to the scene at about 12:30 p.m. He said the bear was three to five years old. It weighed 100 pounds.

Harker said she saw the bear in her peripheral vision come out of the woods and was running fast when it hit her car.

"It wasn't like I had any time to think about what I should or should not do," she said.

She was in disbelief about what happened. She sat in her car stunned and her hands began to shake.

She wishes it hadn't happened and feels bad for the bear.

"I'd heard so many stories about animals that get hit and they roll and run off into the woods, and I was really hoping that would happen," she said.

She was not injured.

Harker said her family had a hard time believing she hit a bear until they saw the damage to her car. Her insurance company is going to take care of repairs.

Schlenker said it's not unusual to have bears in parts of Vancouver but finding them near an interstate is rare.