One dead in Myakka City crash after driver swerves to avoid alligator in road, troopers say

An alligator crossing a road in Manatee County is to blame after a Myakka City man died in a car crash, trooper said.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, around 10:41 p.m. Thursday, a 20-year-old driver from Bradenton was heading east on State Road 70 near Lowe Avenue with a 23-year-old passenger. Around the same time, an alligator was crossing SR-70 and into the path of the vehicle.

Troopers said the driver swerved to avoid hitting the alligator, but lost control of the vehicle. They said the vehicle crossed over the painted median and into the westbound lane SR-70. The vehicle began to rotate, crossed over a ditch of water and crashed into a tree. 

Investigators said the passenger passed away after the crash.

Troopers said both the driver and passenger were wearing a seatbelt.