When a Washington state trooper pulled over a speeding driver during Monday morning’s commute, he expected to write a speeding ticket and let the driver go on her way.
Instead, when the 19-year-old driver rolled down the tinted windows of her Volkswagen Jetta, the police officer discovered an unlikely stuffed passenger in the seat next to her.
“When she rolled the windows down, that’s when the officer realized there was a big bear in the passenger seat,” Trooper Mark Francis told ABC News of his colleague.
“She claimed it was there because she didn’t have any room in the back of the car for it,” Francis said of the woman, who was driving in a highway carpool lane near Lynnwood, Washington, that requires two passengers be in the car.
The driver, who was originally pulled over for going 74 mph in a 60 mph zone, was also found to be on the road without insurance.
She was issued a ticket for that, as well as the speeding and driving illegally in the carpool lanes. In all, the woman’s ticket totaled $818.
The trooper who pulled the woman over did notice she had items in the backseat of her Jetta, but "didn’t scrutinize it enough to form an opinion on if she could have crammed the bear back there or not," Francis added.
“It’s not illegal to have a fake mannequin or a stuffed bear in the car," he said, "but what makes it illegal is just having one person in the carpool lane."