An alligator was stuck and killed by a vehicle while trying to cross Interstate 75 on Wednesday night. The motorist suffered minor injuries when she drove into the grassy median and rolled her vehicle, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP said the 9-foot alligator entered I-75, near mile marker 178 south of Toledo Blade Road in Sarasota County, at around 9:20 p.m., at the same time a North Port woman was traveling north in the left-hand lane.
The 34-year-old woman struck the alligator, causing her to lose control of her Ford Edge. She veered to the left in an attempt to avoid the alligator, but drove into the median and began to spin out of control. The vehicle’s right front wheel dug into the grassy median, causing her to overturn “multiple times,” according to the accident report.
The alligator was killed and the woman was taken to a nearby hospital in North Port with minor injuries.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took custody of the alligator carcass. Tammy Sapp, FWC communications for the Division of Hunting and Game Management, said alligators are extremely active right now due to warming temperatures.
“Alligators become more active and visible during the spring when temperatures rise and their metabolism increases,” Sapp said.
The area also has been a severe drought and a lot of pond, canal and lake levels are dropping. Sapp said alligators will move from their territory to find other bodies of water that are fairing better than their own.
Sapp said FWC does not keep records of incidents like Wednesday’s rollover crash, but “incidents such as this are rare.”