12-Foot Gator on I-275 Causes Two St. Petersburg Car Accidents

A 12-foot alligator roaming the I-275 corridor is being blamed for causing two separate car accidents on Sunday, June 18 in St. Petersburg. The gator survived injuries sustained during the first collision but was killed in the second accident involving a local elderly driver.

The first gator-related crash occurred in the early morning hours when Bruce Foley collided with the creature as it attempted to cross the interstate. Foley, 42, was heading northbound on I-275 in his 2012 Toyota at the time of the accident with his wife, Esther. The alligator’s tail was run over by a passing truck when it launched itself towards the Toyota “like a battering ram,” according to the driver.

Foley reports that the 12-foot gator was hit by a third vehicle before making it off the interstate. The alligator escaped onto traffic media following the incident and emerged approximately a half hour later.

Later that day, the alligator reappeared on the interstate when it was hit by Verna Christopherson heading southbound in her 2004 Kia. Christopherson is an 80-year old retiree residing in St. Petersburg. The alligator died at the scene of the accident and was later removed by a local trapper.

Both automobiles were damaged in the St. Petersburg car accidents, but neither driver was injured by the collisions. Local animal authorities estimate the weight of an alligator this size to be approximately 1000 pounds.

Sources:
http://oldnortheast.patch.com/articles/crossing-i-275-proves-fatal-for-alligator-13c54e96
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120618/WIRE/120619556
http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2012/06/18/Cars-on-both-sides-of-road-strike-gator/UPI-29871340048930/