A Florida man died after his vehicle struck an 11-foot alligator and overturned into a ditch, local authorities confirmed this week.
The crash involving the alligator and John Hopkins, 59, took place just after midnight on Thursday morning in Lithia, about 25 miles east of Tampa, according to a statement from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Hopkins was driving east on County Road 672 when his vehicle clashed with the 11-foot alligator in the roadway and his vehicle "veered off the road and overturned into a ditch" on the northern side of the road, authorities said.
Police were informed of the accident by a motorist who was passing through the area shortly after the crash occurred.
Detectives who responded to the scene pronounced Hopkins deceased on the scene, the sheriff's office said. The alligator also died.
As of Thursday, an investigation into the matter is ongoing.
The Sunshine State has an estimated 1.3 million alligators located throughout the 67 counties in the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).