WIMAUMA, Fla. (WFLA) – A gator-versus-motorcycle collision sent a Bay area motorist to the hospital last month, and he says he was certain he was going to die.
Calun Nelson had driven his motorcycle down the same stretch of a Florida road in Wimauma nearly 1,000 times.
It was May 19, just after midnight when his life changed forever.
Nelson was driving down the road on his motorcycle, nearly one mile away from home when all of the sudden, he saw a gator right in front of him. It was dark, the road had no street lights, and Nelson had little time to stop.
It was dark, the road had no street lights, and he had little time to stop. Nelson tells us he had no time to react and thought he was going to die.
“I wouldn’t have been able to see it until the last second,” he told News Channel 8’s Paul Mueller. “I remember just seeing it and just kind of like breathing in and then like (gasp) and then hitting the alligator.”
Nelson still gets choked up recounting the incident.
He says he was left alone, lying in the road as he faded in and out of consciousness with no one around until a trucker seemed to pull up out of nowhere.
“It did almost feel like God had sent somebody to help me and I felt safer,” Nelson said as he stood outside his house.
He spent more than a week at Tampa General. The crash left him with damage to his ribs and chest, a broken collarbone and road rash all over his body. The wounds are still visible and fresh.
“All of a sudden I just started to see something dart across the road,” another motorist, Jennifer Rosinki said as her SUV collided with a gator on I-75 near Northport just a few days earlier.
The SUV went airborne and rolled about half a dozen times until it came to a stop.
Rosinki survived with just a few cuts and bruises.
But as for Calun, “I don’t blame the alligator. He was just trying to get from A to B and I was trying to get from A to B and we were both in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Calun told us just the night before, one of his friends had a near similar accident with a gator in the road. That friend, he said, was able to stop in time.
Calun has set up a GoFund Me page to help with his tens of thousands of dollars for his medical bills at Tampa General.