...the (14 year old) girl was fortunate to be wearing a bike helmet because the bear had bitten her head.
The animal attacked the girl around 1:30 a.m., during the darkest part of the morning.
"It's not light enough to read, but it's light enough to see your way," Hill said of the conditions one week after the summer solstice. Riders could see rocks, trees and the trail but may have been using headlamps or a bike headlight, Hill said.
The girl called 911, and dispatchers heard someone struggling to breathe. She whispered one word — "bear" — and the line went dead, Hill said.
Following procedure for when an emergency call is cut off, dispatchers called the number back. Another rider heard the phone ringing, stopped to investigate and spotted the teen off the trail.
"That rider was able to pick up the phone and talk with the police department," Hill said.
One more rider appeared and stayed until emergency workers arrived. That took courage in the darkened forest, knowing a bear had attacked and could again, Hill said.
"It had to be extremely unnerving, if not terrifying," Hill said.