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State patrol: Woman caught driving with Costco bear ‘passenger’ in HOV lane

The Washington State Patrol says they pulled over a woman carrying a giant stuffed bear in lieu of a passenger on Monday. (Washington State Patrol)

An Everett woman was busted in Lynnwood Monday morning for using a giant stuffed Costco bear as her passenger in the HOV lane.

Washington State Patrol trooper Mark Francis says the woman was pulled over for going 74 in a 60-mile per hour zone. When the trooper approached the vehicle, they saw something else in the car.

“As she rolls that window down, she sees it is a bear sitting in the front passenger seat,” says Francis.

The 19-year-old driver from Everett told authorities the bear wasn’t in the front seat to appear as a passenger.

“According to her,” says Francis, “there was not enough room in the back of her minivan to put the bear back there. That’s what she was doing with the bear in the front passenger seat.”

Even so, there was no one else in the vehicle, so Francis says she was in violation. “She’s breaking the law in the HOV lane because she is the only live person in the vehicle.”

In addition to speeding and breaking the law traveling as a single driver in the HOV lane, Francis says she also didn’t have insurance, and racked up quite a ticket.

“She had a grand total of an $818 citation for speeding, no insurance and the HOV violation,” says Francis.

KIRO Radio Editor Jillian Raftery contributed to this report.

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