The mortal remains of Dr Nita Kunnumpurath, an Indian doctor from Kerala, who died after her car plunged into alligator-infested waters in Florida, was laid to rest in a church in Chicago, USA. The 30-year-old medical professional was driving from her residence in Miami to Naples when her car toppled and fell into the cana which had alligatorsl. Her body was recovered by a rescue team on Friday and brought to Chicago, where she lived with her family. Dr Nita’s funeral was conducted at SH Knanaya Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois.
According to reports, Dr Nita, who works at a hospital in Miami, was travelling to Naples (Florida) when she lost control of her car. The vehicle fell into a canal, which is known to be filled with alligators. The area is commonly known as Alligator Alley. On seeing the car plunge into the water, a couple, who was driving behind her car, rushed out to help her. The man jumped into the canal and managed to pull the 30-year-old out of the car.
However, while he was trying to get her out of the water, a group of alligators started swimming towards them. On hearing his wife scream, he swam out of the water, following which the couple alerted the police.
According to reports in the US media, rescue workers found it difficult to retrieve her body out of the car due to the presence of alligators. Two of the alligators had to finally be shot, said reports. The doctor was dead by the time her body was taken out of the water.
Quoting local police, the reports said that Dr Nita’s car skidded while she was driving along a curve on the interstate highway. The car reportedly skid and plunged into the canal. The doctor reportedly tried to swim to safety but was unsuccessful in her efforts.
The 30-year-old is survived by her father AC Thomas and mother Thressiamma, who are hail from Uzhavoor in Kottayam district of Kerala. They have been living in Chicago for over 15 years now. Dr Nita has two siblings — Nitin and Nimisha.
Speaking to the media, her father said that Nita wanted to return to Wayanad where she studied till her class 10, to open a hospital and treat poor people free of cost. He also added that she had spoken to him on call for over an hour the day before her death.
The deceased had migrated to the USA with her family after she finished her class 10th from De Paul Public School in Wayanad’s Kalpetta. In America, she graduated in medicine and joined a hospital in Miami for a postgraduate degree in surgery. She had also taken a house in Miami last December close to her workplace. Alligator Alley is stretched across 128 kilometres between Naples and Fort Lauderdale in the state of Florida. It is common to see groups of alligators inside the water or outside on the road, drying themselves on the highway.