The South Carolina driver who struck the bear was uninjured. A preliminary THP crash report states that the driver operating a tractor-trailer was traveling westbound on I-40 near mile marker 443 near the Foothills Parkway exit when they struck a bear that entered the roadway from the right shoulder.
The driver safely pulled off the interstate to the shoulder after the wildlife-vehicle collision or WVC. Traffic was backed up for some time.
WATE 6 On Your Side has reached out to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for more information about the bear.
A last check, the I-40 Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Crossing Project, which is spearheaded by the Smokies Safe Passage Coalition, is still in the works in order to help prevent WVCs in the area.