Motorcycle rider recovers after Washington bear incident

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox
FILE PHOTO: A Beacon Falls couple was involved in a motorcycle accident Saturday afternoon after swerving to avoid hitting a bear.

FILE PHOTO: A Beacon Falls couple was involved in a motorcycle accident Saturday afternoon after swerving to avoid hitting a bear.

Contributed Photo

WASHINGTON — Around noon on Saturday, Lisa and Bob Zaccagnini decided to take a ride on their Harley-Davidson to bring lunch to their daughter, who works at Gunn Memorial Library.

But on the way, the Beacon Falls couple encountered an unexpected obstacle about a mile from the library: A small bear on Roxbury Road.

After her husband swerved to avoid the bear, Lisa Zaccagnini said she ended up on the ground with bad bruises on both her legs.

“It’s going to take a while to get back to normal,” Lisa Zaccagnini, 56, said in a phone interview Monday with Hearst Connecticut Media. “I’m just very grateful to be alive and home.”

The bear was gone by the time first responders arrived, she said.

While her husband declined medical treatment, Zaccagnini was flown to Hartford Hospital where she said a series of tests were done.

“My right leg, my knee is very swollen. My foot is quite injured but I was able to walk enough that they would let me go home,” she said.

Will Healey, a spokesperson for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said motorists should taken precautions in case of encountering a bear in the road, “particularly in rural parts of the state where there is more suitable wildlife habitat, to reduce speed, particularly in the early morning, or at dusk and nighttime, when visibility is worse. This is particularly important on windy roads where visibility could be obstructed.”

He added during the fall season, bear activity increases as they seek to stock up on food before winter, “so it’s extra important for motorists to be mindful of wildlife activity on or near roadways, be on the lookout, and reduce speed accordingly.”

sfox@milfordmirror.com