Published: May 13, 2014 8:23 PM EDT
Updated: May 13, 2014 10:29 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- "It's not everyday you see a bear especially you don't see a bear in the road you know."

But Michael Bradford learned the hard way anything can happen. He said I-75 was dark early Tuesday morning on his ride to work.

"I saw a flash of fur," said Bradford.

The fur of a 285 pound bear. Wildlife officers said the animal and her two cubs were trying to cross the highway.

"Really it was just a big crash, the air bags deployed and I just pulled off to the side of the road, I really did not know what had happened," said Bradford.

That mother bear died and one of her cubs was hit by a second car.

"If they could have fenced it to keep it off the highway, or what but it is a mom and cubs trying to find a place to live."

The cubs wandered into the nearby community of Wilshire Lakes, spotted in these exclusive photos from a WINK News viewer. The guy who snapped the pictures tells me, from 40 feet away he could tell one of the bears was hurt. It was later euthanized.

"It's an incredibly unfortunate situation and as a biologist its one of the hardest ones that we have to make," said Dan Mitchell with Florida Fish and Wildlife.

The Bradford's admit the situation could have been worse.

"We were both wearing our seatbelts, air bags deployed and saved our lives I think, so I'm grateful for that."

The Bradford's were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. As for tha third bear, wildlife officers said it wandered off and wasn't injured, and they're going to let it be.