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Three people were killed and eight others were injured in a three-vehicle chain reaction wreck Sunday night in a remote area of a Florida Indian reservation that started when the first vehicle struck and killed a black bear, authorities told NBC News.

Gary Bitner, a spokesman for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, said the accident occurred just before 7 p.m. ET on remote Snake Road just north of Interstate 75 on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian reservation. The first vehicle struck the bear; then, after a second vehicle stopped to assist, a third vehicle crashed into the first one — the one that hit the bear — killing three people from that vehicle, Bitner said.

"This is a first," he said.

Eight people were taken to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, four by emergency evacuation helicopters. Their conditions weren't immediately reported. Two other people weren't injured.

— Ali Fateh and M. Alex Johnson