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State police report an unusual accident on Interstate 84 on the evening of Saturday, July 7, in which a SUV traveling westward, just east of the Exit 10 off-ramp, collided with a black bear.
State police said that a 2011 Chevrolet Equniox SUV driven by Adam Cohen, 52, of Southbury, was traveling in the center lane of three lanes at about 7:04 pm, when it encountered a black bear that was crossing the highway. The Chevrolet struck the animal, killing it, officials said.
State police notified the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) of the incident. The animal was described as weighing about 80 pounds. Male black bears can weigh as much as 450 pounds.
State police said that Cohen and one of his two passengers were transported to Danbury Hospital by the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps to be checked for possible injuries. A hospital spokeswoman said she did not have any information available about the two people.
Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company Chief Bill Halstead said 14 firefighters responded with two fire trucks to the incident. The impact of the crash had caused automotive fluids to leak from the SUV, requiring their isolation and cleanup by firefighters.
The highway remained open to traffic flow as the accident cleanup and investigation took place.
Black bear sightings in Newtown have become more common during the past several years.
According to DEEP statistics, there were 124 reported sightings of black bears in Newtown from July 10, 2017, to May 21, 2018.
Chief Halstead said the incident was the first time he could recall that Sandy Hook firefighters had gone to a motor vehicle accident involving a bear.