Driver Fights Off Deadly Snake With Knife, Seat Belt

Cops says Aussie man had a reasonable excuse for speeding
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2020 7:42 AM CDT

(Newser) Government guidance in Queensland, Australia, says people who encounter snakes should calmly back away to a safe distance. It doesn't specify what you should do if one starts to wrap itself around you while you're driving. That's what a 27-year-old man, identified only as Jimmy, told officers had happened after they spotted his pickup truck speeding on a highway in the state. Jimmy told police the "angry" eastern brown snake, one of the world's deadliest, slithered out from near the gear stick while he was driving just north of 60mph and started to wrap itself around his legs, USA Today reports. He said that as he tried to brake, the snake starting striking the seat between his legs and he had to fight it off with a work knife and a seat belt.

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"The more I moved my legs … 'cause it's pretty big it just started to wrap around me," Jimmy said in a video released by police. He told officers who stopped him after noting he was speeding at 76mph that, fearing he had been bitten, he killed the snake, put it in the back of a truck, and headed to seek medical attention. "Although the traffic officer had heard his fair share of excuses for speeding, he soon realized this was not just another colorful tale and promptly sought medical assistance," police said in a press release. The eastern brown snake, believed to be the world's second-most venomous land snake, is responsible for most snakebite deaths in Australia. Luckily for Jimmy, paramedics determined that he had not been bitten, but was, understandably, in shock, 9News reports. (The rattling noise an upstate New York man heard from his car wasn't made by the engine.)

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