Weed teen who hit bear on I-5 remains in ICU at UC Davis

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Weed High School junior Kade Bernstein is currently in ICU at UC Davis after an accident on Interstate 5 Nov. 5, 2020.

Kade Bernstein, a 16-year-old Weed High School junior who was seriously injured when he hit a 400-pound bear while driving on Interstate 5 last week, is making small steps toward recovery, his family said Monday.

“He will have a long road to recovery, and we are still unsure of how long he will be in the hospital,” said his sister, Skye Bernstein, who has set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help her family cover the cost of traveling to be with Kade while remains at UC Davis.

Kade was driving one of five vehicles that hit the bear Thursday evening, Nov. 5, while on his way home from his 12-year-old brother's Siskiyou Flag Football game, held in Montague.

Kade Bernstein's pickup truck was totaled after he hit a bear on Interstate 5 Thursday night, Nov. 5, 2020.

According to the Yreka Area California Highway Patrol, the bear was crossing the southbound I-5 lanes just north of Edgewood at about 8:15 p.m. when it was first struck by 74-year-old David Athens of Mount Shasta, driving a 1999 Dodge pickup.

The bear was then hit by a 17-year-old from Terrebunne, Ore., driving a 1995 Ford pickup, and a 2020 Toyota sedan, driven by Joshin Bruguera, age 49 of San Francisco.

Mark Tillemans, 46 of Big Pine, who was driving a 2019 Toyota Tacoma, and Bernstein, driving a 1996 GMC pickup, struck the bear next and both lost control of their vehicles and overturned, the CHP said.

Bernstein was ejected from his pickup. He, a passenger and a passenger in Tillemans’ truck were transported to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta. Bernstein was then flown to UC Davis, where he was immediately put on a ventilator, Skye Bernstein said. As of Monday morning, he remains in the ICU.

The other drivers and passengers sustained minor injuries in the accident, CHP said.

Skye Bernstein said she and Kade lost their father, Joaquin Bernstein, unexpectedly on Aug. 31. 

More:5 cars hit 400-pound bear on I-5, Weed teen seriously injured

More:Obituary: 'Joaquin' Bernstein

“We know 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but we are hoping that people are willing and able to help,” she said.  

So far, more than $5,000 has been raised of her $10,000 goal to help cover the cost of travel to stay close to Kade while he’s in the hospital. 

“I also have a 12-year-old brother and an 8-month-old brother,” Bernstein said. “My family has a hard time asking for help, but as you can imagine, after the funeral costs and other expenses for our father and now this, we are in need, as this has left us not being able to go back to work for awhile again.”

To donate the Kade’s fundraiser, go to

Updates on his condition will be made on a Caringbridge site:

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.