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Bear cub wasn’t cause of car crash

On June 23, Joel Osborne, an 18-year-old newcomer from California, was in a car accident he originally said was caused when he swerved to miss a baby bear. Osborne, driving a silver Honda Prelude, collided with a red Honda CRV driven by a 16-year-old Central Kitsap girl as her twin sister rode along in the passenger’s seat.

It may not have been the baby bear’s fault, after all.

According to a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office report, Osborne and his two passengers were allegedly harassing the baby bear and shooting it with a slingshot.

The group was parked in Jason Jasinki’s driveway on Island Lake Road and shouting something about a bear, according to the report. Jasinki was in the kitchen, which is located in the back of his house, when the incident occured.

Two of Jasinki’s children told him about the boys and the bear, Jasinki told Sheriff’s deputies.

“My kids saw a bear in our yard, I went outside after we saw it cross the road and I saw a silver Honda Prelude cruising the street with a passenger hanging out the sunroof shooting a slingshot at where we saw the bear earlier,” Jasinki wrote in his statement for the deputies.

After the bear and the car left, Jasinki drove his wife’s car to Island Lake Park to see if he could find the boys to write down their license plate number, he stated. He found the car, but Osborne and his friends left before Jasinki could write down the license plate number.

Jasinki told Sheriff’s deputies that he saw Osborne’s Honda driving on the wrong side of the road and Osborne looked at Jasinki and flashed him a “peace” sign with his hand. Jasinki looked away from the road and heard a crash.

The driver of the red CRV told deputies she was driving in her lane at 30 mph (the posted speed limit) when the Prelude appeared in front on her. The incident occurred so quickly she did not have time to respond.

Osborne at first told deputies he and his friends were not harassing the bear. Then, he said one of his friends shot at the bear, but he wasn’t sure if it was hit.

Osborne showed deputies a California driver’s license, but did not have current registration or proof of insurance.

According to Stephanie Marquis, a spokesperson for the state Insurance Commissioner’s Office, approximately 14 percent of all motorists were uninsured in 2003.

In the most current state statistics, about 15 percent of all motorists in the state were uninsured from 1995 to 1997. The state of Washington requires motorists to carry a minimum of liability insurance. If a motorist has liability insurance, that would cover damages to the other party’s car.

Marquis said if a motorist is involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, it is difficult to determine whether one accident would raise his or her insurance rates.

“There are just so many other factors to consider,” Marquis said. “It depends on how many claims your insurance has had, how many claims your insurance company has had (overall). ... It doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance rates are going to go up.”

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