More bear sightings and now on the interstates - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

More bear sightings and now on the interstates

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ROANOKE COUNTY, VA -

What if you were driving along Interstate 81 and suddenly you hit into something you didn't expect?

"I hit him and I kind of drove for another second cause I could not accept that I hit a bear," says Sara Powers.

Powers said it happened by the Salem exit on her way home to Roanoke.

"He jumped up, shook himself off, and went over the guardrail and took off in the woods," says Powers.

V-DOT says they've seen an increase in bear carcasses this year as compared in years past. THe counties that have seen an increase are Botetourt and Roanoke with about 40 bears hit so far this year.

Local repair shops say they're getting more bear claims too. Roanoke Wreck Repair says they average about two a year and now they've already doubled that.

V-DOT says the numbers are unexpected since the year isn't over yet.

"Autumn is one of the higher time to see because it is mating season for deer and bears hiding into hibernation," says Jamie Smith, V-DOT spokesperson.

Because of the season, V-DOT says people should try to be more cautious on the roads to prevent a future accident from happening.

As for now, Powers says she faces about $4,000 of damage to her car but is thankful knowing she didn't get hurt in the crash.