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Bear attack survivor describes the fight

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Bear attack survivor describes the fight
October 06, 2010 07:59PM
October 6, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Bear-attack survivor describes sights, sounds of 'horrendous fight'
John Chelminiak, who was attacked by a bear at his summer home in Eastern Washington last month, gives a chilling account of the incident.

By Nicole Tsong

John Chelminiak was fumbling with his headlamp on Lakeshore Drive at Lake Wenatchee when he heard the scratch of nails on the road and the whoosh of a large animal's exhale. Within seconds, the black bear was on top of him.

All he could think was he needed to keep the clawing, biting bear behind him and that he needed to stay upright. Or else he would die.

On Wednesday, in his first interview since the attack, he recounted the sickening crunch of teeth when the bear bit him in the head, the flash of light when the bear struck his left eye, and how he fought back, kneeing the bear as it lunged at his abdomen.

"It was just a horrendous fight," Chelminiak said at Harborview Medical Center, where he has been since the Sept. 17 mauling.

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