'Now that is a big one:' 6-foot alligator hit by car in Union County

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A 6-foot alligator was found Monday night in the middle of Highway 74 in Union County.

A driver called to report an alligator in the middle of the busy highway, just before midnight. It was about a mile outside of Marshville town limits, near Stegall Lake.

“I had to move over a little bit, but it was still moving,” the woman told county dispatchers. She said, “I wasn’t fixing to stay right there.”

Officers said the gator suffered a fatal head wound from being hit by a car.

"I've heard of turtles in the roadway. But you'd expect a turtle in a roadway. I don't think you'd hear of an alligator. That's something you'd expect in Florida, near the Everglades, not here in Marshville, North Carolina," Officer Steven Fultz said.

Police released a 911 call from a person who saw the alligator.

"This lady is advising there's a crocodile in the middle of the road on 74," the caller said. "I had to move over a little bit, but it was still moving. I wasn't fixing to stay right there."

(Listen to a caller report an alligator to 911 in Union County)

Marshville police said the Department of Transportation came to remove the gator from the highway.

The gator was on the highway near Stegall Lake where some in the area said they have spotted two alligators prior. For others, the alligator sighting was a big surprise.

"Good heavens," said Dawn Barmer, a Marshville resident. "Now that is a big one."

Channel 9 reported on an alligator that was hit and killed in Clover, South Carolina, over the weekend.

Jeff Hall, a state herpetologist, said that it's highly unlikely the Union County was wild because they're not in this area.

Hall believes someone probably kept the gator as an illegal pet before releasing it.

The state expert said the closest verified, wild alligator documented near here was in Robeson County, four counties east of Union County.

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