Motorcyclist, 65, dies after hitting a BEAR with his Harley-Davidson on Connecticut highway

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Motorcyclist, 65, dies after crashing his Harley-Davidson into a BEAR that strayed on the state highway in Connecticut

  • Thomas Kovalik, 65, was driving a Harley-Davidson when he ran into a bear
  • Accident occurred on Route 22 in Harwinton around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday
  • Found by state poachers and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead

A 65-year-old Connecticut man was killed after his Harley-Davidson collided with a bear that had been walking on a state highway in Connecticut, state police said.

Thomas Kovalik, of Plymouth, was driving a 1995 Harley on Route 222 in Harwinton when he crashed into the bear around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Kovalik was thrown from the motorcycle in the freak accident and ended up on the road.

Thomas Kovalik, 65, was killed when his motorcycle hit a bear, Connecticut state police said

Thomas Kovalik, 65, was killed when his motorcycle hit a bear, Connecticut state police said

Thomas Kovalik, of Plymouth, was driving a 1995 Harley-Davidson on Route 222 in Harwinton when he ran into a bear around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas Kovalik, of Plymouth, was driving a 1995 Harley-Davidson on Route 222 in Harwinton when he ran into a bear around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas Kovalik, of Plymouth, was driving a 1995 Harley-Davidson on Route 222 in Harwinton when he ran into a bear around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas Kovalik was thrown from the motorcycle in the freak accident and ended up on the road, where he was found by state troopers (photo, crash site)

Thomas Kovalik was thrown from the motorcycle in the freak accident and ended up on the road, where he was found by state troopers (photo, crash site)

Thomas Kovalik was thrown from the motorcycle in the freak accident and ended up on the road, where he was found by state troopers (photo, crash site)

He was found by state poachers and transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he was pronounced dead.

Tributes poured in for the Harley-Davidson rider on Facebook. “Ride my friend!” one wrote.

‘I’m glad to have met him! He was the meaningful love, he will surely miss his laugh and smile. Ride Free My Friend,” wrote another.

Police said it had not yet been determined whether alcohol or speed played a role in Kovalik’s death.

According to initial reports, Kovalik probably lost control of the motorcycle after hitting the bear. ctpost reported.

Thomas Kovalik (pictured, right) was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he was pronounced dead

Thomas Kovalik (pictured, right) was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he was pronounced dead

Thomas Kovalik (pictured, right) was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he was pronounced dead

Tributes poured in on Facebook for Harley-Davidson rider Thomas Kovalik (pictured, right).  Police have launched an investigation into the freak accident

Tributes poured in on Facebook for Harley-Davidson rider Thomas Kovalik (pictured, right).  Police have launched an investigation into the freak accident

Tributes poured in on Facebook for Harley-Davidson rider Thomas Kovalik (pictured, right). Police have launched an investigation into the freak accident

They added that it remains unclear how the 65-year-old managed to hit the bear, or if the animal survived.

Route 222 was closed for several hours between Delay and Hayden Roads after the fatal accident. It has since reopened.

An investigation into the crash is underway.

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