Residents of the NWT have discovered an abandoned car and a dead bison on the highway between Fort Smith and Hay River.
Photos of the scene, taken on Monday, show at least one bison dead at the side of the road. Cabin Radio understands two bison may have been hit in the incident.
A heavily damaged Chevrolet Camaro lay abandoned nearby.
Images show extreme damage to the vehicle’s hood, deployed airbags, and a smashed windshield.
Police say a collision between the vehicle and the bison took place on the weekend. One person was in the car at the time.
Cabin Radio understands the driver was able to walk away from the vehicle and was not harmed. Their identity has not been made public.
“We did have a member on scene, by chance, as the G Division Traffic Services was heading back to Hay River when the call was received,” Sgt Jesse Gilbert, from the Fort Smith detachment, told Cabin Radio.
“The involved individual was not from Fort Smith but was a visitor,” said Gilbert. “They were leaving the community to head back home when this crash occurred.
“We have no reason to suspect a criminal element to the crash and, since the incident occurred in the park with wildlife, we have turned the file over to Parks Canada.”
Wood Buffalo National Park said no charges have been laid under the Canada National Parks Act.
On Thursday, the car was removed from the accident site by a private towing company.
The red Camaro had a black, striped decal with a star, in the vein of US Air Force insignia.
Residents who stopped at the scene to take photographs reported the vehicle’s licence plate could not be found.
They also reported no skid marks were apparent on that stretch of road.
Meanwhile, Parks staff worked to move the bison carcasses away from the highway as they were starting to attract bears.
Superintendent Cam Zimmer asked travellers of Highway 5 to stay in their vehicles and to avoid stopping near kilometre 122 as the bears are protective of their food.
Bison are a common sighting – and roadside hazard – throughout much of the territory, particularly on areas of highway between Hay River and Fort Smith.
“With warmer weather, there is a lot more wildlife on the highway between Fort Smith and the junction,” said Gilbert.
“On Monday, I passed several small herds of bison and I lost count of the bears,” he continued, urging drivers “to be cognizant of the increased wildlife this time of year.”
A red car with a broken windshield and heavily damaged bodywork lies abandoned at the side of an NWT highway. Photo: Supplied
A dead bison by the side of an NWT highway. Photo: Supplied