Three dead and eight injured in accident on Seminole Reservation

Snake Road on the Big Cypress Reservation in Florida. Photo from formulaone / wikimapia

Three people died and eight others were injured in an accident on the Big Cypress Reservation in Florida.

The incident occurred after Caroline Billie, a member of the Seminole Tribe, struck and killed a 300-pound bear on Sunday night. Her vehicle was damaged to the extent she couldn't drive it, a spokesperson said.

As Billie was inspecting the damage, three vehicles that were traveling together stopped to assist her, the Associated Press reported. A group people from those vehicles were standing on the side of the road when another car ran into them.

Billie and the driver of the other car were not seriously injured. But three men who had stopped to help her were killed and eight others were hurt.

"They were good Samaritans," tribal spokesperson Gary Bitner told The South Florida Sentinel. "They were people obviously intent on being helpful, doing the right thing, and then they lose their lives. It's just sad."

The incident occurred on Snake Road, a windy, two-lane highway that provides the main access for the reservation. According to the Interior Department, there were more than 74 accidents between 1997 and 2001.

"With the very narrow travel way, no guard railing and little grading on the curves, this is a very dangerous road," DOI said. The highway also runs through the Miccosukee Reservation.

Bitner said the lanes were recently widened, leading to a decline in accidents. Funding for improvement projects came from federal and state sources.

Accidents with bears have become more common as the bear population increases in southern Florida.

Get the Story:
3 dead, 8 injured after vehicle hits, kills bear (AP 12/8)
Three Dead, Several Hospitalized After SUV Hits Bear (CBS Miami 12/8)
Victims of crash involving black bear identified (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 12/9)
A collision with a bear, then chain-reaction tragedy on a rural road (The Miami Herald 12/9)

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