A 59-year-old Hillsborough County man died last night after his vehicle struck an 11-foot alligator laying in the road.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, John Hopkins car struck the alligator at approximately 12:30 a.m., while driving eastbound on C.R. 672, about two miles west of C.R. 39 in Lithia.
“The front of Hopkins’ vehicle struck an 11-foot alligator, which was in the roadway. The vehicle veered off the road and overturned into a ditch on the north side of the road,” says a statement from the agency. “A motorist passing by in the area noticed the car in the ditch and called 911.
Officials responded to the accident and pronounced Hopkins dead on the scene. The alligator was also deceased.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, gators are more active during mating season, which runs from April through June depending on temperatures.
Florida has roughly 1.3 million gators, and they can be found in all 67 counties. However, if you see one where it’s not supposed to be, contact the FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
This story originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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