Man dies after crashing into 11-foot gator with his car
Miami, Florida – After crashing his car into an 11-foot alligator, a Florida man has died.
According to a statement from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred after midnight on Thursday.
A 59-year-old, John Hopkins, was driving east on County Road 672 in LIthia, about two miles west of County Road 39, when he struck an 11-foot alligator in the roadway. Lithia is about 25 miles east of Tampa. Hopkins’ car “veered off the road” and turned into a ditch, where a passing driver noticed it and called 911, the sheriff’s office said.
When detectives arrived at the scene, Hopkins and the alligator were both deceased.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with around 1.3 million wild alligators in Florida alone, Florida and Louisiana have the nation’s largest alligator populations.
Still, a representative of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told CNN car crashes involving alligators are “not common.”
In order to determine what factors may have contributed to the accident, the sheriff’s office will conduct a standard fatal crash investigation.