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Pregnant Lady Chased by Bear Becomes Hit and Run Victim, but Finds Baby Name

By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on April 24, 2009 10:04 AM

A pregnant Colorado woman had a close encounter of the fuzzy kind on Thursday morning on a trail in Colorado Springs, and that was just the start of her troubles! KDVR-TV reports that Ashley Swendsen, who is 6-months pregnant, was on a trail early yesterday morning when she, in her own words, "heard a rustle. I looked behind me and it was a bear--2 feet away".

To Swendsen's credit she didn't just bolt for the hills, as would probably be most people's reaction seeing a bear 2 feet away from them. She just kept walking, but unfortunately, the bear decided to keep pace with her. At that point, she decided to test her legs versus the bear's (FYI, apparently this is generally a bad idea) and Swendsen made a run for it. Miraculously, she somehow made it to a street, and with it, safety...or was it? Well this is the crime Blotter, after all, and bears (last I checked) can't be criminals.

No, the culprit in this case was an elderly lady driving a black 4-door sedan, who hit Swendsen after she made it to the road. To top it off, the lady didn't even stop to help and drove off! Perhaps recognizing the scene of a crime, the bear took off too.

Maybe the elderly lady got frightened by the bear too? Well, that might just be giving her a bit too much credit, as she hasn't come forward, and authorities are telling folks to be on the lookout for a white elderly lady in her seventies. She could face hit and run charges under Colorado law, but fortunately Swendsen didn't appear to be injured in any serious manner, as she said, "She wasn't going that fast. I just rolled off her car."

The bear, however, was sadly tracked down and euthanized, and wildlife officials explained it had lost its fear for humans and would pose dangers in the future. Some small (and perhaps bitter) consolation for it, however, is that Swendsen says she plans on giving her baby the middle name "bear".

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