OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 3, 1987
CARL NEILOUS BAILEY
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Claimant appeared in person.
Robert D. Pollitt, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
On November 9, 1986, the claimants was operating his 1976 Ford
truck in an easterly
direction at North Bend on Route 39. A bear approached his vehicle,
the vehicle struck it.
As a result, damages were incurred by claimant's truck, and the
seeks compensation in
the amount of $837.47.
The claimant testified that he was proceeding at approximately 50
per hour at the time of
this incident. He was accompanied in the truck by two of his
was about 6:30 p.m. and
had just gotten dark. The weather was clear and dry. Claimant's
rounded a curve in the
vicinity of a picnic area. The bear was impossible to avoid
the claimant. The
accident site is located in the Monongahela National Forest, a bear
sanctuary. Claimant stated
that the bear was tagged and had a beeper on it.
The Court finds that the claimant was aware that he was driving in
area where bears may be
anticipated to appear on the road. It was foreseeable that an
such as a bear or deer might
attempt to cross the road in the Monongahela National Forest. It is
opinion of the Court that
the respondent was not negligent in the instant claim. The Court,
therefore, denies the claim.