The massive alligator died as well
John Hopkins was driving eastbound on County Road 672 in Lithia, en Tampa suburb, at about 12.30am on Thursday when his vehicle hit the alligator in the middle of the road, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said the impact of the crash caused the vehicle to veer off the roadway and flip before falling into a ditch on the north side of the road.
Hopkins was pronounced dead at the scene. The alligator died as well.
Marco Villarreal, the sheriff’s spokesman, said the vehicle wreckage was noticed by a passing driver who called 911.
Mr Villareal said an investigation was ongoing and that authorities may release footage of the deputies’ arrival at the crash site.
De Tampa Bay Times newspaper reported that Hopkins lived in Lithia.
Hopkins had just got a new job and was on his way home from work. He was less than a mile from his home when the freak accident happened.
It was not clear to authorities where the alligator on the road came from.
Officials, derimot, said the crash site was about two miles west of the Alafia River state park known to have alligators, de Miami Herald rapporterte.
Florida is home to nearly 1.3 million alligators and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the reptiles can be found in all of the state’s 67 fylker.
The commission said the longest alligator ever recorded in the state was 14 feet and 3.5 tommer, while the heaviest reptile weighed 1,043 pund.