Bishopville gator stops traffic

BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - If it were a chicken, it probably wouldn't have been a big deal, but it was not a chicken a Bishopville man and his daughter ran across Monday afternoon, it was an alligator.

Allen McKnight and his 10-year-old daughter Jordan has just left his heating and air shop around 5 p.m. Monday when they came upon a peculiar sight on Highway 441 near Segars Pond.  It was a 5-foot alligator and it was in the middle of the road.

"It was on all fours and we could actually see up under it," said McKnight.  "When we got closer it dropped down."

McKnight said he and his daughter stopped "haphazardly on the road," and watched the creature go from one side of the road to the other.

His amazed daughter said, "Daddy, have you ever seen anything like this before?"  McKnight's answer?  "No!"  McKnight, who used to live in Florida, said he had seen some alligators in his time, but never in Bishopville.

According to McKnight, acting Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon even happened upon the bizarre scene.  McKnight said Simon pulled up from the other direction, "put his blue lights on and even stopped a couple of cars."

"I was pretty amazed.  That's not nothing you ever see crossing the highway," said McKnight.

After a short stroll across the asphalt, McKnight said the gator quietly slipped into the weeds, presumably on its way to Segars pond.

As he pulled away, McKnight said he spoke with the sheriff for a moment and "went on about our business."  It's a day McKnight says he and his daughter won't soon forget.

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Photo Allen McKnight.