GARFIELD TOWNSHIP (WWJ/AP) – The man whose car struck a 180-pound black bear in Bay County last week says he plans to make a rug out of the animal’s hide. reports Monday that Billy Elwood was driving home after his night shift at a manufacturing plant Tuesday morning when he encountered the 2-year-old bear in Garfield Township.

Elwood said he applied the brakes in his 2002 Mercury Sable, but it was too late.

“The first thing that went through my head is, ‘Damn it, I just got the car less than 24 hours ago,” Elwood told Mlive.

Elwood called the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which allowed him to keep the carcass after a trooper euthanized the animal.

Elwood donated the meat but wildlife officials recalled it out of concern it had been tranquilized and unfit for consumption.

Wildlife officials relocated the bear from a culvert near Interstate 75 a week before it was killed. It apparently had been hibernating.

Elwood is the second person to crash into a black bear in Bay County in recent months. In November, a 19-year-old girl struck a bear with her dad’s Pontiac Grand Am on Fraser Road in Fraser Township. That bear survived the impact and scampered off.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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