A Florida man has died after he struck an 11-foot alligator with his car just after midnight Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
59-year-old John Hopkins was driving on County Road 672 in Lithia, Florida — about 25 miles east of Tampa — when he hit the gator.
Mr. Hopkins’ car “veered off the road” and fell into a ditch. Another driver noticed and called 911, the sheriff’s office said.
Mr. Hopkins was pronounced dead at the scene. The alligator is also deceased.
According to The National Wildlife Federation, the gator measured just below the average size of an adult alligator — they usually grow up to 12 feet and weigh 1,000 pounds.
The largest alligator in Florida came in at around 14 feet, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.