Alligator bites woman who reached for can in Everglades

Witness says woman's hand 'dangling' after gator attack

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – An alligator bit a woman when she tried to retrieve a soda can that she dropped in the water Friday in the Everglades, authorities said. 

"This woman apparently dropped a can into the water," Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said. "She was stadning on the dock, dropped a can into the water and, as she reached in to retrieve the can, that's when she was bitten by an alligator."

Airboat Rides Capt. Wayne Gilbert witnessed the gator bite her right above the wrist. 

"She got on her knees, put her left hand on the dock, leaned over and grabbed the can," Gilbert said. "And when she did that, she caused, you know, a ripple in the water, a splash, and there happened to be a gator laying right there."

The woman has been identified as Kimberly Sexton, 49, of St. Cloud. Sexton was airlifted to Broward Health North. 

"Her hand was pretty much dangling at that time when she got to the helicopter," Gilbert said. 

Sexton was at Willard's Fish Camp with a group of friends.

"Several of the other people who were there and witnessed this kept her from going into the water when the alligator bit her," Jachles said.

Sexton had tearing and punctures on her right hand and required emergency surgery.

"The hand was still attached, though it was a very severe, almost full amputation of the hand," Jachles said. 

Authorities said the alligator remained in the area and was captured by an authorized alligator trapper. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was investigating. 

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