Off-Duty Oregon Firefighter Killed After Motorcycle Slams Into Bear on Remote Highway

Rhett Larson was remembered as a dedicated firefighter and loving father.
Rhett Larsen was 39. Bend Firefighters Local 227

Off-duty firefighter Rhett Larsen struck a bear with his motorcycle, then hurled into path of oncoming SUV.

An off-duty Oregon firefighter was killed in a freak accident after a bear ran into his path on a two-lane rural highway.

Rhett Larsen, 39, was riding his motorcycle when a bear lumbered onto the blacktop. Larsen crashed into the animal and was throw from his bike into the path of an oncoming SUV, authorities said. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene. The SUV rolled on its side. The driver was taken by helicopter to a hospital, but her condition was not released.

Larsen was remembered as "not only an exceptional firefighter" but as "a loyal friend, respected mentor and loving father. The loss of such a fun-loving, energetic soul is felt deeply by both our department and our community," read a post on the Bend Firefighters Local 227 Facebook site.

He leaves a wife and two young children. 

 A GoFundMe page has been established to help his family with expenses.