October 10, 2015 1:01 pm
Updated: October 10, 2015 1:36 pm

NDP candidate keeps campaigning after highway collision with bear

NDP MP John Rafferty, seen here in 2012, hit a bear on the highway while returning home from a campaign stop.

THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Adrian Wyld
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THUNDER BAY, Ont. — The NDP incumbent in Ontario’s Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding says his campaign continues after a collision with a bear that left his vehicle wrecked.

John Rafferty was driving home from an all-candidates meeting in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Thursday night when he hit a bear on a highway.

Rafferty said the collision caused his Jeep to roll into a ditch and over a couple of pine trees before it came to a stop.

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READ MORE: What you need to know about the NDP’s platform

“The first thing I thought … was ‘why am I listening to country music,”‘ said Rafferty, who noted he’d been listening to a symphony station before the crash.

“I tried to get out — my door was jammed shut … and I had to crawl out the other side,” said Rafferty, who was uninjured in the collision.

Rafferty said he then remembered the bear was still on the highway.

“I didn’t want anyone else to hit it, so I had to get up and climb up the bank and start waving my hands,” he said. “I did just in time for the next vehicle.”

Rafferty said the driver of a pickup was able to swerve and only clip the bear’s carcass.

READ MORE: Federal Election 2015: Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding

The NDP candidate estimated the animal weighed about 350 pounds.

“I’ve got a rental, so the campaign continues,” he said, adding the riding is large and it’s not uncommon for him to drive 400 kilometres between events.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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