The Courier-Mail

Snakes on a highway

Ute be scared too, says plucky driver

- TOBIAS JURSS-LEWIS

IT’S the stuff of nightmares – being attacked by Australia’s deadliest snake while “hooking it” along a deserted highway, strapped into the driver’s seat and with no means of escape.

But for a Gladstone man who wants to be called just “Jimmy”, this nightmare became a terrifying reality. Police detected Jimmy hurtling at 123km/h along the Dawson Highway west of Calliope at about 5pm on J June 15. His excuse when pulled over: “A brown snake … was in the car with me.” It had climbed into the cabin of his ute and began atta tacking the seat between h his legs, the distressed d driver told police.

The eastern brown is A Australia’s deadliest sn snake. Quick, aggressive a and notoriousl­y badte tempered, they are resp sponsible for more d deaths each year in Australia than any other type of snake.

For Jimmy, trapped in the cabin while going down the highway, the snake was a “bloody terrifying” sight.

“I’m driving along at 100 (km/h) … and it came right in between the gearstick here,” he told police.

“It came between my legs … 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.”

Jimmy used a seatbelt and knife to fight off the snake, killing it and throwing it into the tray of his ute. Believing he had been bitten, he was “absolutely hooking it” to hospital when he was intercepte­d by the police.

Police immediatel­y called paramedics to the scene to assess Jimmy. It was determined that he had not actually been bitten by the snake, but was suffering shock from the ordeal. “I’ve never been so happy to see red and blue lights,” Jimmy said.

EDITORIAL P50

 ??  ?? ‘Jimmy’, from Gladstone, was attacked by a lethal eastern brown snake (inset) in his ute while driving on the Dawson Highway west of Calliope.
‘Jimmy’, from Gladstone, was attacked by a lethal eastern brown snake (inset) in his ute while driving on the Dawson Highway west of Calliope.
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