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Body dragged by bear after Massachusetts man killed in crash on I-91, state police say

By Phil Tenser

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    HATFIELD, Massachusetts (WCVB) — A bear beat first responders to the scene of a fatal crash in western Massachusetts over the weekend and “made contact with the victim’s body,” state police said.

Massachusetts State Police said the crash occurred on the southbound side of Interstate 91 in Hatfield, at some point before 11:06 a.m. on Sunday. A passing motorist reported seeing the vehicle in the woods on the side of the highway near mile marker 30.8.

Responding troopers located a heavily damaged 2016 Honda Civic in the trees.

“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. Evidence suggests the bear at some point had made contact with the victim’s body,” state police spokesperson Dave Procopio wrote in a statement.

Investigators believe the operator lost control of the car at some point on Sunday morning, struck the guardrail multiple times and veered off the roadway.

“Evidence and observations at the scene suggest that the man was most likely deceased as a result of the crash and was either fully ejected or partially ejected and later dragged from the car by the bear. The bear left the area while responders were on scene,” Procopio wrote.

The decedent was identified as Daniel Ducharme, 31, of South Hadley. No one else was involved in the crash.

Procopio said the investigation is ongoing.

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