Officials determined the June 29 death of a Forest Service officer occurred after his bike collided with a grizzly bear.
Officer Brad Treat was mountain biking with a friend in the early afternoon when he turned a blind curve and collided with the bear, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Investigators estimated he was going 20-25 miles per hour.
The officer was thrown over his handlebars and fell either on top of the bear or over the bear. Investigators said Treat broke both hands and his left scapula while trying to break his fall.
Treat’s friend, who was 20-25 yards behind him, said he heard the impact and the bear make a noise “like it was hurt,” the publication reported.
The friend told investigators he came around the curve and saw the bear standing over Treat. Around 30 seconds passed until the friend decided he couldn’t take down the bear and ran to a nearby highway to flag down a vehicle instead. The report said both men did not have bear spray, firearms or cell phones on them.
A flagged down driver called 911 and investigators discovered the victim on the trail with his helmet near his body. The helmet was reportedly bitten to pieces, but no part of Treat’s body was bitten by the bear. He was reported dead on the scene.
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