Police SNIPERS Deployed – Emergency Incident Reported
(FeaturedNews.com) – Rescue workers in Florida arrived at a scene that probably looked more like a movie set than a real-life car crash. An automobile was sinking in a small pond off the side of the road, with people trapped inside. As is the case with most bodies of water in the Sunshine State, this one was full of alligators. To mount a safe rescue operation, police snipers trained their scopes on the reptiles, and divers suited up.
A Perilous Scene
Lieutenant Alex Camacho of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) painted the grim scene for local news station WSVN. The blue Toyota minivan reportedly lost control while exiting the highway and veered off the road. It then flipped over, landing in an alligator-infested retention pond. Miami Fire Rescue, the Miami Dade Police, and the FHP responded.
The victims were reportedly underwater and surrounded by alligators for nearly 10 minutes while divers tried to get to them. Police around the pond, having already stopped witnesses from trying to rush in, set up with sniper rifles to protect the divers and other potential rescuers. It remains unclear if authorities had to shoot any animals. An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.
Not the Happiest of Endings
Divers were able to rescue two passengers and get them to dry land, where first responders began CPR. Nieves Matos, 80, and her son, Mario Laza, 56, were both in critical condition when they arrived at HCA Florida Kendall Hospital. Mr. Laza passed away shortly thereafter.
Gaza was a familiar face at a local Westar gas station in Miami Springs. His coworkers described him as a friendly man with a warm smile and a generous heart. His family set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses.
Attacks Are Rare
Alligators don’t typically venture out of their environment to interact with humans. They’re apex predators in their own environment, which makes a rescue such as the one in Miami a risky ordeal. Overall, alligator attacks are extremely rare and seldom fatal. The odds of being attacked are 1 in 3.2 million, with only 4% of those fatal.
Alligator attacks may be few and far between, but the very thought of those teeth being one of the last things a person sees may be one of the more terrifying thoughts imaginable.
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