JONES COUNTY -

A large black bear ran across Highway 17 and hit a car in Jones County, according to deputies.

The accident happened Thursday around 11:00 a.m. at the Ten Mile Fork Road intersection, north of Pollocksville; traffic was delayed for about 30 minutes.

Dorris Griffin, a driver in the vehicle, said she was heading toward Havelock on Highway 17, when the bear came out of nowhere. She says she tried to swerve but the bear crashed right into the front of her.

"Its bear country. So, they're going to cross sometime sooner or later, somebody's going to hit one, and guess I was it," Griffin said.

Griffin and the passenger only had minor injuries, but she said the bear is the one that got really hurt.

"He was still here, still hurt, and he was going to be mad," Griffin said.

Jones County deputies searched for the injured bear for about an hour but were unable to find it.

Officials with the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission say bear population depends on habitat space. The say that there could be more bear sightings in Eastern Carolina due to a decrease in natural bear habitat and an increase in bear population.

There have been at least four bear-related accidents this summer in Jones and Onslow County.