Bear dragged crash victim’s body from car in woods off Massachusetts highway, police say


Police believe driver killed in Massachusetts crash was dragged from car by bear

Police believe driver killed in Massachusetts crash was dragged from car by bear


HATFIELD – A bear is believed to have dragged the body of a western Massachusetts crash victim out of his car on Sunday, State Police say.

Investigators say 31-year-old Daniel Ducharme, of South Hadley, was likely killed as a result of the crash on Route 91 south in Hatfield. Police said the evidence suggests he was “either fully ejected or partially ejected and later dragged from the car by the bear.”

Another driver called police at 11 a.m. on Sunday when they noticed a car in the woods off the side of the road. Troopers found a “heavily damaged” 2016 Honda Civic among the trees.

Troopers saw bear in woods at crash scene

“When first responders reached the scene, the deceased male occupant of the vehicle was outside the car and a bear was observed in the woods in the vicinity of the scene,” State Police said in a statement. “Evidence suggests the bear at some point had made contact with the victim’s body.”

Hatfield bear
A man was killed in a car crash on Route 91 south in Hatfield

CBS Boston

The bear took off from the area while troopers were at the scene. 

The cause of the crash is still being investigated. Ducharme was the only person in the car. Police say he somehow lost control of the car, hit the guardrail multiple times, and went off the right side of the road. He went down an embankment before hitting several trees, police said. 

Black bears active in Massachusetts

Hatfield is part of the black bears’ established range in Massachusetts. There are estimated to be more than 4,500 bears in the state.

Wildlife officials back in March reminded residents that bears are coming out of hibernation and searching for food. 

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