A motorist fought off a deadly snake using a knife and a seat belt as he drove along a highway – and continued on at 76mph as he thought he only had minutes to live.
Footage released on Tuesday shows the moment a police officer pulled over the man, only known as Jimmy, when he was travelling along a road in Australia at 123kph.
Jimmy, 27, said he was travelling along the Dawson Highway, west of Calliope and six hours north of Brisbane, when the snake slithered up his legs.
He started to panic, believing he had been bitten by the poisonous eastern brown snake as it attempted to attack him – even biting the seat between his leg.
Jimmy feared he had been bitten and decided his only option was to kill the snake with his work knife and seat belt.
He told the officer: ‘I’m driving along at 100, and I just started to brake.
‘And the more I moved my legs… it just started to wrap around me. Its head just started striking at the [driver’s seat] chair, between my legs.
‘I think it has bitten me, it was with me in the car.’
After killing the snake he threw it in the back of his car and was speeding to hospital, believing he only had minutes to live, when he got pulled over by police for driving at 123kph.
Once pulled over the officer called for an ambulance, which quickly arrived and found Jimmy had not been bitten and was just in shock.
‘It was pretty terrifying,’ Jimmy said.
About the eastern brown snake
According to the Australian Geographic, eastern brown snakes are ‘fast-moving, aggressive and known for their bad temper’. Also known as the common brown snake, they together with other browns are responsible for more deaths every year in Australia than any other group of snakes.
Based on tests on mice, their venom is ranked as the second most toxic of any land snake in the world. They thrive in populated areas, particularly on farms in rural areas with mice, and are found throughout the eastern half of mainland Australia.
If disturbed, the snake raises its body off the ground, winding into an ‘S’ shape, mouth gaping open and ready to strike. Its venom causes progressive paralysis and stops the blood from clotting, which may take many doses of antidote to reverse.
Onset of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, cardiac arrest and kidney injury typically occur between 15 to 30 minutes after the bite, but have been known to start as soon as two minutes after being bitten.
‘I’ve never been so happy to see red and blue lights.’
Brown snakes are known as one of the most venomous snakes in the world and are the leading cause of snake bite deaths in Australia.
Queensland Police said while this was a ‘particularly unique situation’, it issued a reminder that it was illegal to kill or capture snakes.
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