Florida man dies after driving his car into 11ft alligator


A Florida man has died after ramming an 11-foot alligator with his car.

The crash happened after midnight Thursday, according to a statement from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

John Hopkins, 59, was driving east on County Road 672 in LIthia, about two miles west of County Road 39, when he hit an 11-foot alligator on the roadway. Lithia is about 25 miles east of Tampa.

Hopkins’ car “went off the road” and turned into a ditch, where a passing driver noticed him and called 911, the sheriff’s office said.

Hopkins and the alligator were both dead when detectives arrived on the scene.

Florida and Louisiana have the largest alligator populations in the country — with an estimated 1.3 million wild alligators in Florida alone, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Still, a representative from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told CNN that car accidents involving alligators are “not common.”

The sheriff’s office will conduct a standard investigation into the fatal accident to determine what factors may have contributed to the crash.


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