A Florida man died after his car swerved off a highway in the state and plunged into a pond infested with alligators on Friday. His mother was in the vehicle and was rescued by first responders.

Mechanic Mario Laza, 56, was driving along the Florida Turnpike together with his mother Nieves Matos, 80. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Laza lost control of the vehicle when heading west on the turnpike and while turning right on an exit ramp, flipping the car over.

The vehicle landed in a nearby retention pond that authorities say is filled with alligators. In a video from the scene captured by local media, police officers with long guns took up positions along the lake to scare off any of the reptiles as rescue workers hastily moved to rescue Laza and his mother.

With the help of the Miami-Dade Police Department's dive team, as well as a second team from a nearby fire department, Laza and Matos were pulled from the submerged car and rushed to HCA Florida Kendall Hospital in critical condition.

There were initial reports that a child was present in the car based on descriptions of the vehicle carrying a child seat on board. No child was in the vehicle when it fell into the pond.

Laza was pronounced dead later that evening at the hospital. Nieves is reportedly in stable condition.

Friends, family and co-workers who knew Laza created a GoFundMe page to help cover his funeral costs. As of Tuesday afternoon, the page has raised over $5,700 from 100 donations.

"[Mario] was a person that you would never forget just by meeting him once… he was someone full of life, laughter and good times to share, with a giant heart and a unique personality," wrote Laura Hernandez, the Miami-based organizer behind the GoFundMe page.