Bear versus vehicle is now an accident category in Red Bank, since a driver struck a large black bear at about 10:15 Sunday night on Dayton Boulevard just two blocks from City Hall.

"Originally, the person thought they'd struck a pedestrian," police Chief Tim
said. Then, the driver saw a "bear jump up and start running," the chief said.

The driver struck the bear near the Green Gables Apartments in the 2800 block of Dayton Boulevard,
said. The injured animal got up and ran a few hundred yards to the east. Red Bank police officers followed the bear's blood trail as far as they could. When they lost it, they called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Its officers used a tracking dog to find the badly injured bear in some bushes and high grass about 100 feet from a house.

"Unfortunately, they had to put the animal down," said
, who saw a photo of the dead bear's paw. "It was a very, very large animal. His paw was massive compared to the hands that were holding it."

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