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Local news outlet KFDM called the death of 28-year-old Tommie Woodward “the first recorded fatal alligator attack in Texas.” What’s worse is that his death was completely preventable.

Early Friday morning, Woodward was at the outdoor bar Burkhart’s Marina in Orange, Texas, when at about 2:3o a.m., he decided to take a dip in Adams Bayou. However, the bar employees tried to stop him as they had recently spotted an 11-foot gator in the waters.

An eyewitness recalls a man’s last moments as he disregarded warnings, yelled ‘F*** the alligator’ and plunged into alligator-infested waters:

“I asked him please do not go swimming, there’s a bigger alligator out here, just please stay out of the water,” bar employee Michelle Wright said.

According to local authorities, Woodward reportedly replied, “Fuck that alligator,” before diving into the bayou. Authorities also describe his death as “almost immediate.”

“Next thing I know this girl is screaming an alligators got him, an alligator’s got him and I grab a flashlight trying to zoom it over the water, trying to find him. The next thing I know, I don’t even know how long it was, I saw his body floating face down and then he’s up there for a couple seconds and then he gets dragged back down and pulled off.”

After seeing Woodward struggle, the woman he was with apparently jumped in and tried to save him. When she realized it was a lost cause, she reportedly called for help.

“He had puncture marks on his upper right shoulder, and his left arm and elbow received severe damage. The alligator pulled him down and he came back up yelling.” Orange County Police Captain Robert Enmon said, in case you weren’t convinced that this is a horrible way to go.

Enmon also said that alcohol may have been a factor in Woodward’s unwise and hasty decision.

Gee, ya think?

Woodward probably didn’t start his holiday weekend thinking he’d become a cautionary tale as to why you should heed warning when a sign and other people tell you not to go swimming when the water is being stalked by a bone-crushing monster, but here we are.

 


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