By CJ Baker | Powell Tribune
POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — They hadn’t seen a bear all day.
Vincent and Donna Doser had spotted bison, elk and other animals as they motorcycled through Yellowstone National Park. But as they exited the park’s Northeast Entrance on Aug. 10, Donna remarked to her husband that they could see more bears in their home state of Florida.
The Dosers started down the Beartooth Highway and toward their Cody motel room when, “All of a sudden, the wife yelled, `Bear!’ and this black bear come running out … shot right across the road,” Vincent Doser recalled in a interview with the Powell Tribune.
The animal ran out of some tall grass and crashed into the left side of the Dosers’ motorcycle. The female bear collided with Vincent’s ribs and left leg, fracturing his ankle, and smashed Donna’s left leg.
Vincent was able to keep the motorcycle upright, but the pain forced the couple to stop a short ways away.
“I could barely get (the) kickstand down and shut the bike off,” Vincent recalled. “And we waited for help.”
The bear, meanwhile, laid out in the middle of the road, roughly three delineator posts behind the couple.
“It didn’t scare me at all, because I really thought she was dead. And we couldn’t move,” Vincent said.
A couple Canadian motorcyclists heading up the highway soon stopped to help, followed by others.
Roughly 20-30 minutes after the crash, after a small crowd of helpers had gathered, the “dead” bear stirred.
“Her cubs came out and started sniffing around, and by golly, she got up,” Vincent said. “She got up real slow and gimped across the highway, the way she was headed to begin with, the way she wanted to go.”
The cubs headed in the opposite direction.
From the size and color of the animal, Vincent feels certain it was a black bear.
“I’m glad it wasn’t a grizzly, because then you might have had trouble when it came to,” he laughed.
A passerby alerted authorities of the crash sometime around 5:45 p.m. and the Dosers were taken to West Park Hospital in Cody. They each got their left legs put in walking boots.
“Everyone there was very, very helpful,” Vincent said, crediting the passing bikers, the paramedics, park rangers, Wyoming Highway Patrolman Scott Hall and some people in Cooke City who helped the couple load up their bike for transport the day after the crash.
“I mean it was just incredible, all the help that you get,” Vincent said.
He spoke as he and his wife headed back to their home, and some new doctor’s appointments, in Lehigh Acres, Florida. The run-in with the bear scrapped their plans to continue on to California for another three weeks of vacation.
For Vincent, it was the second crash in his motorcycling career. (The other came at the hands of a Ford Explorer and “hurt a lot more.”) But he wasn’t swearing off of motorcycling just yet.
“It makes you think, but we do love the motorcycle, and it’s just so serene when you’re out there riding. It’s just, I guess anything can happen, you know?” Vincent said. He did quip later that, “the next time we come back (to Wyoming), I think we’re going to just bring the car.”
Information from: Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, http://www.powelltribune.com