A bloke has died after running over an 11-foot alligator while driving on what is said to be a quiet road.
John Hopkins, 59, was on his way home after work in the early hours of Thursday (March 24), when he came across the massive reptile.
Hopkins was driving along Country Road 672 in Lithia, Florida, USA, a road which his sister Jean Pasinski described as very quiet.
She told WFLA-TV: “At night there’s nothing on this road, it’s a road you drive mostly with your bright lights on unless you have incoming traffic.”
Unfortunately for him, he collided with the giant gator, with the impact causing his car to veer off the road and flip into a ditch.
A driver passing through the area noticed the car in the ditch and called the police.
Detectives arrived on the scene and Hopkins was pronounced dead, with the animal also dying as a result of the collision.
According to his sister, Hopkins, originally from Tennessee, had just started a new job.
She said: “He was the apple in my mother’s eye so to speak. He will be madly missed by the whole family.”
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Florida is a known haven for the apex predators, with the state being home to an estimated 1.3 million alligators, spread out around all 67 counties in the state.
Alligator hunter Captain Phil Walters however told WFLA-TV that despite the vast number of gators, it is uncommon that someone comes across one as big.
He said: “You don’t see a lot of big gators like that anymore. You get a six-footer, it’s just a squish. But obviously that 11 was a little more, it was fatal to somebody."
An investigation into the crash is ongoing, with officials saying footage taken by deputies of the scene may be released in the coming days.
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