Hampden County

Man’s body dragged into woods by bear after deadly crash on Mass. highway, state police say

HATFIELD, Mass. — A man’s body was dragged into a wooded area by a bear after a deadly crash off a Hatfield highway, according to authorities.

State Police say 31-year-old Daniel Ducharme of South Hadley was found deceased by troopers outside his vehicle around 11 a.m. on Sunday in the woods off Route 91 southbound near the 30.8 mile marker. Ducharme’s heavily damaged 2016 Honda Civic was located a short distance away.

According to investigators, earlier that morning, Ducharme was driving south on Route 91 when he lost control of the car, hit the guardrail multiple times, and careened off the roadway down an embankment, striking several trees.

Police allege Ducharme was killed due to the crash and became partially or fully ejected from the car. Following the crash, Ducharme’s body was allegedly dragged from the car by a bear.

“Evidence suggests the bear at some point had made contact with the victim’s body,” State police wrote in a press release.

The bear reportedly fled the area while responders were on scene.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the State Police-Northampton Barracks, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the State Police Detective Unit for Hampshire/Franklin Counties.

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