Kelly McConnell attempted to rescue Patti R. McConnell from an attacking bear, Fort Nelson, British Columbia, August 14, 1997. Ms. McConnell, 37, and her son Kelly, 13, student, were on an elevated boardwalk in a wooded area of a provincial park when they saw a black bear feeding nearby. The 218-pound male bear suddenly charged onto the walk, set upon Ms. McConnell, and began to maul her. Clad only in swimming trunks, Kelly, shouting, approached the bear and kicked it, but the bear continued its attack. Kelly then obtained a branch and struck the bear repeatedly about the head and nose. The bear left Ms. McConnell and turned on Kelly, taking him to the walk and inflicting numerous wounds to his neck, back, and chest. A man who had been visiting the park arrived at the scene and, shouting, fought the bear with a stick. The bear then turned on the man and attacked him, taking him to the ground about 20 feet from where Kelly and his mother lay immobilized by their wounds. Other park visitors arrived and attempted to stop the bear’s mauling of the man, which was fatal. While one of those persons left for help, two others tended Kelly and Ms. McConnell. They were joined by a third person who helped give the victims first aid while the bear remained nearby. Unbeknownst to them, the bear left the man and approached, and it charged the boardwalk again. They chased it away. The bear left the immediate area but attacked and mauled a fourth victim before it was felled by firearm. Ms. McConnell died of her injuries, and Kelly required three weeks’ hospitalization for treatment of his wounds, which included several broken bones and severe lacerations.
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