While collisions on the the highway are not unheard of, the one thing you maybe don’t expect to be hit with while driving is a grizzly bear.
But that’s exactly what one Jasper woman said happened to her.
Sylvie McKenzie said she was driving along a highway a few kilometres west of Jasper when she noticed two bears running along the road ahead.She said she slowed down to let the bears cross the road, but only the female bear did so.
The second bear – a male – simply stopped and stared at her.
McKenzie said she then started driving, putting her car between the two bears.
"The male didn't like it at all, so he decided to take his feet, charge and hit my car with his two front paws," she said. "[He] just came and pounced on my car with full force and full speed."
McKenzie said the car rocked violently when the bear hit it, giving her a close-up view of the bear’s face.
"I could see his teeth, the drool on his face. I tried to speed up and put my foot on the gas pedal to get away as fast as I could."
Later, she found grizzly prints all over the side of her car, along with two big dents and several scratches.
The total cost to repair the damage is estimated to be $5,400.
Listen to McKenzie's interview with CBC's Mark Connolly
McKenzie, who has lived in Jasper for 25 years, said she’s never heard of anything like this happening before.
Her advice to other drivers who see bears along the side of the road is simple: "Stop, turn around, wait for a few minutes and go back."
This is not the first time wildlife and humans have had a dramatic run-in on a highway in western Canada.
- Drivers told to be cautious of grizzly cubs in Kootenay National Park
- Mother bear rescues cub from B.C. highway
- Motorcyclist takes photos of wolf chasing him on highway
- Wolf chases cyclist on Alaska Highway in Yukon
Last month, a grizzly bear attacked a cyclist who was trail-riding alone just outside of Jasper.