When a traffic officer pulled over a pickup truck on an Australian highway, he didn’t expect to find one of the world’s deadliest snakes inside.
The driver, a 27-year-old man identified only as “Jimmy” in a police news release published Tuesday, was heading down the Dawson Highway in the state of Queensland at 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) when he noticed a reptile in the vehicle.
It was an eastern brown snake – highly venomous, and responsible for the majority of snakebite deaths in Australia.
“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 said in the news release.
He then used a seat belt and a nearby knife to fight it off – while trying to stop the car.
Jimmy thought he had been bitten in the ensuing tussle, and feared for his life. Eastern brown snake bites are fast-acting and fatal, and the venom can cause paralysis and bleeding into the brain.
So Jimmy killed the snake, hit the accelerator and headed for the nearest hospital. That’s when a police officer spotted his car, driving at 123 kilometers per hour (about 76 mph) and pulled him over.
“A brown snake or a tiger snake is in the back of the ute (truck), I think it has bitten me, it was in the car with me,” Jimmy can be heard saying as the officer pulled up, in a video released by police Tuesday. “You can feel my heart, mate.”
The officer saw the dead snake lying in the back of the truck and called for help. When paramedics arrived, they determined Jimmy had not been bitten, but was suffering from shock.
“It was pretty terrifying, I’ve never been so happy to see red and blue lights,” Jimmy said in the video.