MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Pine County man is hospitalized after hitting a black bear on Interstate 35 near Pine City late Friday afternoon.

The Minnesota State Patrol says 48-year-old Edmund Hanson, of Brook Park, was driving on I-35 when a black bear stepped out onto the highway.

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Hanson struck the bear and flew off the bike. He was wearing full protective gear but is in critical condition. Hanson was airlifted to an area hospital.

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The small black bear was killed in the accident. Black bears are common in the area.

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The state patrol is investigating.