Motorcyclist recovering after collision with large gator

By Cait McVey, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017, 6:11 PM EDT

A nearly 11-foot alligator caused a motorcycle crash Friday, after it wandered onto State Road 674 in Wimauma.

27-year-old Calen Nelson was on his motorcycle, riding home from his father’s house, when he slammed into the gator near the overpass for the Little Manatee River.

 “The gator was crossing the road.  Whether it was crossing or walking or standing still, he just hit it,” said Calen’s father Keith Nelson.

Calen Nelson, 27, is recovering from injuries sustained in the crash. (Nelson family)

The younger Nelson was ejected from his motorcycle by the impact. He was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, where he is now recovering. 

His father says Calen doesn’t remember a thing.

“He asked ‘Dad what happened’ and I said ‘you hit a large alligator,’” Nelson said.  “Then a few minutes later ‘Dad what happened?  You hit a large alligator.’”

The alligator was captured by a trapper shortly after the crash, but later died from its injuries.