SHELBYVILLE, TN - A little over 20-miles south of the Murfreesboro City Limits along Highway 231 South, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, a motorist crashed into a 450 to 500-pound animal. After the accident, the driver had to call a tow truck due to the extensive damage on the front end of the vehicle.
The animal that caused the crash is one that few encounter with their car... the animal was a BLACK BEAR that weighed up to 500-pounds, according to a TWRA estimate. From nose to tail, the bear was 78-inches long and its paws appeared to be about 7 or 8-inches wide.
Tad Craig of Craig & Wheeler Realty & Auction, told WGNS, “...we were all very sad to see him dead, but even more shocked to even see a black bear in Bedford County.” The incident occurred in front of Mr. Craig's home.
Evidently, the bear versus car accident happened on Saturday night about 400-yards from the Shelbyville City Limits. Bedford County Sheriff's deputies worked the accident and the Highway Patrol showed up to assist. According to the homeowner, he was alerted to the wreck when a Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper called him to say a dead bear was in his front yard, which Mr. Craig thought was a joke. After he made his way to the road this past Saturday night (11/11/2023), he quickly realized the Trooper was serious.
After the wrecked car was towed away, something had to be done with the bear. A tractor with a scoop on the front was used to pick the bear up, due to its girth. The deceased animal was then loaded into the bed of a TWRA Game Warden’s truck.
Craig told WGNS News that he has hunted in Alaska and has hiked the Great Smoky Mountains for years and has seen lots of black bears, but this was one of the largest black bears that he has ever seen. Keep in mind that this bear was not in the Smoky Mountains, it was in Bedford County, just 400-yards from the Shelbyville City Limits.
After reviewing past news stories that originated in the area of Shelbyville and Bedford County, this looks to be the very first confirmed black bear sightings in Bedford County, TN.