Chris Jordan's Volkswagen Jetta "didn't fare too well" when it collided with a full-grown black bear along a dark interstate service road in the north metro.
But the bear fared worse.
Jordan said he was about four blocks from his Lino Lakes home and driving south at about 60 miles per hour Monday night along "pitch black" Otter Lake Road, when "this bear just came out of the ditch, out of nowhere."
With Jordan having no time to swerve, the bear hit the front left side of his car.
"He was running," Jordan said. "It almost cleared my car."
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m., as Jordan was driving his sister and her boyfriend back from the Minnesota Twins game.
Jordan spotted a Lino Lakes police officer perched nearby watching for speeders and reported what had just happened.
Police Sgt. Mike Rumpsa "found the bear in the ditch," Jordan said. "It was dead."
Rumpsa said he noticed Jordan driving with a headlight out and "I was going to stop him. But he flagged me down and [the car] was smoking. He said he hit a bear, and I said, 'You aren't kidding you hit a bear.'"
"No one in the vehicle was hurt, and the bear didn't suffer," Rumpsa added. "That's a good thing all around, I guess."
Jordan, 27, said there's been talk of "a couple of bears in the neighborhood lately." He said there's a nature reserve-type area nearby, where he believes "there are a few more bears back in there."
Jordan said, "I've hit deer before with my car, but a bear? My car didn't fare too well." He's sure it's totaled.
Police Chief John Swenson said the bear's remains were turned over to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. DNR conservation officer Lisa Kruze said the bear "was given to an educational facility, and they use all the parts for educational purposes."
Kruze said the bear weighed about 200 pounds.
Bryan Lueth, a DNR wildlife supervisor, said, "I typically hear of one or two vehicle-hit bear incidents per year in my work area," which includes Washington, Anoka, Ramsey and Hennepin counties.
Paul Walsh 612-673-4482