Florida authorities have identified a woman who is in critical condition at a Florida trauma center after an alligator nearly bit off her hand Friday in the Everglades, officials said.
Kimberly Anne Sexton, 49, of St. Cloud in central Florida, was bit after she attempted to retrieve an empty can of Mountain Dew soda that had rolled off a dock and into the water at Willard's Fish Camp, west of Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, according to the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Broward County Sheriff's Department..
"This woman apparently dropped a can into the water," Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said. "As she reached in to retrieve it, that’s when she was bit by the alligator."
Two witnesses reacted, grabbed Sexton by her legs to keep her from being pulled into the water, and managed to free her hand from the alligators grasp, the state commission said. The victim was transported to the boat ramp by an airboat and airlifted to Broward Health North, the commission said. The alligator remained in the area and was successfully taken by an authorized alligator trapper.
"The hand was still attached though it was a very severe, almost full amputation of the hand," Jachles said, adding that the woman was stabilized after bleeding severely and losing consciousness.
Sexton was taken into immediate surgery upon arrival into the hospital, the commission said.
ABC News' Benjamin Stein contributed to this report.