Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Public safety

Official: Alligator nearly bites off woman's hand

FORT LAUDERDALE — A woman trying to get a soda can she dropped into the water in the Everglades had her hand nearly bitten off by an alligator, authorities said.

Kimberly Ann Sexton, 49, was trying to retrieve a Mountain Dew can she dropped on Friday when the animal attacked her hand, according to a report released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Sexton was bitten by a 6.5-foot alligator, the report said. The animal was found by a trapper and euthanized after the incident.

Two witnesses grabbed Sexton by her legs and kept her from being pulled into the water, the report said. They also managed to free her hand from the gator's jaws.

A fire rescue helicopter was dispatched just before 6:30 p.m. to a fish camp in the Everglades near Fort Lauderdale. Sexton, who lives in St. Cloud in central Florida, was staying there with family.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles says flight medics found her with her right hand "almost fully amputated" and losing consciousness.

She was flown to Broward Health North Trauma Center, where she was in critical condition.

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