Florida mom and her 2 toddlers die after hitting alligator on highway

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A mother and her two toddlers died in a crash on Monday after their car smashed into an alligator on a South Carolina highway, police said.

The mother, identified as 24-year-old Amber Stanley, of Florida, and her children, were heading north on Highway 95 near Holly Hill, South Carolina, at around 1 a.m. Monday when their vehicle struck the gator, skidded off the road and smashed into a tree, police told ABC affiliate WCIV.

The vehicle, a Kia Soul, burst into flames on impact, killing Stanley and her two children -- Jack, 4, and Autumn, 2 -- on the scene, police said.

The coroner told WCIV the accident took place when Stanley, who was visiting from Callahan, Florida, hit the alligator as it attempted to cross the road.

Officials with the South Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating the accident.

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