Authorities said Thomas Kovalik, of Plymouth, was ejected from his motorcycle and landed in the roadway after the collision

By Joelle Goldstein
June 08, 2021 02:58 PM
Thomas Kovalik
Thomas Kovalik
| Credit: Facebook

A 65-year-old man has died after he crashed into a bear while riding on his motorcycle.

The incident unfolded on Saturday evening around 10:30 p.m. in Harwinton, according to a press release from the Connecticut State Police (CSP).

Officials said the man, identified as Plymouth resident Thomas Kovalik, was driving his 1995 Harley-Davidson on Route 222 when he collided with the bear.

After striking the wild animal, Kovalik lost control of his motorcycle before getting ejected from the bike and landing in the roadway, according to the release.

Officials who arrived at the scene said they found Kovalik lying in the roadway with his motorcycle laid down on its side.

He was later transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the CSP confirms "the bear was not located on scene or in the area, so we believe that it is still alive."

At this time, officials have no plans of searching for the bear and/or euthanizing the wild animal, the CSP spokesperson adds.

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The incident remains under investigation by the CSP, according to their press release.

Following news of Kovalik's death, his loved ones expressed their sadness over the accident on Facebook.

"This world just lost an amazing man!" wrote one user. "True blue, one of a kind, smile to make you melt. Tom Kovalik you will be dearly missed! Your smile could brighten any day and your cool, calm, loving demeanor was so refreshing in a world of chaos."

Another person said Kovalik was "a truly amazing man" who adored riding his motorcycle.

"I don't think the heavens realize the amazing soul they are getting," added someone else.