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Florida snipers provide cover for rescue divers searching for mother and son in alligator-filled pond

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Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida snipers provided cover for rescue divers who jumped into an alligator-infested pond to search for a missing mother and son.

80-year-old Nieves Matos and her 56-year-old son Mario Laza were traveling along the Florida Turnpike in West Miami-Dade this past Friday when they lost control of their vehicle and careened into a detention pond just off the highway.

WSVN, a regional Florida news outlet, reported that the accident occurred just before noon and is likely the result of the driver losing control while attempting to negotiate the right curve on an exit ramp.

Good Samaritans who witnessed the accident jumped into the water to search for survivors of the accident.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Camacho said, “The vehicle lost control, overturned, driving off of the roadway into the pond. Dive teams from fire rescue and Miami-Dade Police did their search and rescue, and were able to rescue an adult female and adult male inside of the vehicle at the time.”

Police snipers arrive on the scene shortly after the accident to provide protection for rescue divers and other first responders as they searched the alligator-filled pond for survivors of the crash.

Footage from this past Friday’s event shows snipers lying on their stomachs with their rifles pointed at the waters as alligators swim around the pond.

Ms. Matos was eventually located and pulled from the water.

WESH-2, an Orlando-based NBC affiliate, reported that Laza, the 56-year-old son, passed away after a brief treatment period in the ICU.

People close to the mother and son’s family created a GoFundMe page to help cover the pair’s medical bills and the son’s funeral expenses.

This past week, it was reported that the victims of the condominium collapse that happened in Surfside, Florida, in 2021 drew closer to the end of their class-action lawsuit, as they reached a settlement totaling $1,021,199,000.

The settlement agreement was submitted to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman, who gave his preliminary approval to the settlement on Saturday at a court hearing that followed around-the-clock negations.

The more than $1 billion settlement was reached less than a month before the one-year anniversary of the tragic building collapse that claimed the lives of more than 90 people.

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