Pregnant woman chased by bear, hit by car

Next time you're having a bad day, think of the story of Ashley Swendsen and count yourself lucky.

At six months pregnant, Ashley recently went for a walk on a trail near her home in Colorado Springs in the US. While a sign warned her about possible flash floods, the 26-year-old wasn’t prepared for a run-in with a bear.

“I heard a rustle. I looked behind me and it was a bear, two feet (60cm) away,” she said.

Ashley kept walking, but then noticed the bear following her.

“I freaked out and started running. It was chasing me for about 20 seconds,” she said.

Although the woman made it to the street, that wasn’t the end of her troubles: a lady then hit her with her car.

“She wasn’t going that fast – I just rolled off [it],” she said.

The driver of the car, a woman in her 70s, then drove away.

The bear also took off, but was later tracked and euthanised. “Bears not afraid of people are the most dangerous because they don’t run away,” a local wildlife officer told the media.

It’s estimated that there are around 12,000 bears in the state, but there have been only two bear-related fatalities in the past 100 years. 

Ashley is upset about the animal’s fate but will remember it in a special way.

“It’s sad – it spared me and still had to die,” she said. “We’re going to [give our baby] the middle name ‘Bear’.”

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12:0AM, May 14th 2009

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