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Driver killed after hitting 11-foot alligator on Florida road

▶ Watch Video: Nature: Alligators in Florida

A driver is dead after a collision with an 11-foot alligator early Thursday morning on a rural road in Florida, officials said.

John Hopkins, 59, was headed eastbound on Country Road 672 in Lithia, which is 30 miles east of Tampa, when the front of his car struck the alligator at about 12:30 a.m., the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said

His vehicle then veered off the road and flipped into a ditch on the north side of the road, the sheriff’s office said. A motorist passing through the area noticed the car in the ditch and called 911.

Detectives responded to the crash and Hopkins was pronounced dead at the scene. The alligator was also dead, officials said.

No other details were released and the investigation is ongoing.

The Miami Herald reported the crash site is about 2 miles from Alafia River State Park, where alligators are known to roam.

Florida is home to an estimated 1.3 million alligators, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“Alligators live in all 67 counties,” the agency says, “and they inhabit all wild areas of Florida that can support them”



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