Bike Crash with Grizzly leaves Forest Service Cop Dead

The report from an incident last June on the “Outer Trail” of the Green Gate Trails in the Flathead National Forest was just released. While out riding his bike off duty Forest Law Enforcement Officer Brad Treat came around a blind curve and crashed into an adult grizzly bear. The bear was startled and killed Treat before help could arrive.

According to USA Today,

Treat mountain biked on the trails four to six times a week. Treat’s wife, Somer, described him as competitive and said he often tried to beat his previous times as he traveled the route. Treat was estimated to be going 20 to 25 mph, giving him only one or two seconds after rounding the corner to see the bear. The investigation found no signs of skidding or evasive steering; indicating he did not immediately see the bear and hit him at full speed.

The collision hurled Treat into and then over the handlebars of his bike and either onto or over the bear. The investigation indicated the impact caused Treat to break both of his wrists and his left shoulder blade as he tried to break his fall with his hands.

A riding companion was reportedly 20 to 25 yards behind Treat when the incident occurred. The companion reported hearing the impact and heard the bear vocalize and make a sound “like it was hurt.”

The companion rode around the curve and saw the bear standing over Treat, who was laying on the trail. The companion reported waiting about 30 seconds as he tried to figure out what to do. Neither Treat nor his companion had bear spray, firearms or cell phones with them.

The companion said the bear was “intent and focused on Mr. Treat,” and did not turn to look at him when he came into sight. The companion decided to turn around and head back up the trail the way they came to seek help because he did not feel comfortable trying to get the bear off of Treat.

The initial investigators found the victim and his bike in the trail at the collision site. Treat’s helmet was beside his body and was reported to be bitten to pieces by the bear.

Treat was dead when responders arrived.

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