Police in Florida needed to use snipers to provide cover for rescue divers after a minivan exiting the highway lost control and crashed into a retention pond full of alligators.
While police snipers maintained overwatch with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials rescue divers began searching for survivors. Other officers that were called to the scene surrounded the pond with their long guns to provide extra support in case the divers were threatened.
When the crash initially happened good samaritans that saw the crash rushed into the water but were ordered out by police because of the alligators.
No shots were fired but alligators were seen on the surface of the water watching the divers.
“The vehicle lost control, overturned, driving off of the roadway into the pond,” said Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Alex Camacho told reporters. “Dive teams from fire rescue and Miami-Dade Police did their search and rescue, and were able to rescue an adult female and adult male inside of the vehicle at the time.”
Divers were able to pull two people from the vehicle. First responders successfully administered CPR to the woman and the couple was transported to the hospital.
Sadly, the man pulled from the wreckage did not survive but the woman remains hospitalized.
The victims were Mario Laza, 56, and his mother Nieves Matos, 80.
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the accident.
You can watch a portion of the rescue below, we cued the video up as alligators were spotted on the surface while divers worked.
Encounters with alligators are very common in Florida and other southern states. Last month, a Florida couple said that an eight-foot alligator got into their garage and helped itself to a box of Diet Coke. Another family recently reported that a 550-pound alligator decided to take a dip in their swimming pool.