Bruce and Esther Foley said they were traveling about 70 mph in their new Scion on Interstate 275 Saturday when they saw a truck run over the tail of an alligator that then made a mad dash for their own passenger-side door, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported Monday.
"Like a battering ram," said Bruce Foley, 41, who was driving the car.
Foley said he pulled over and saw the gator collide with at least one more vehicle before scuttling onto the traffic median. He said it was about a half an hour before he saw a vehicle on the other side of the road collide with a silhouette that appeared to be the gator.
Verna Christopherson, 79, who was headed home to St. Petersburg with her son, Mark, said both her car and the reptile launched a few feet into the air after the impact.
There were no serious injuries reported.
Trapper Vernon Yates, who was not called to the incident, estimated the 12-foot reptile could have weighed 1,000 pounds and may have been an older male out searching for a mate.
Officials said the gator died at the side of the road.