Local News

October 5, 2013

Man recovering from copperhead bite

David Locke has killed many snakes in his life, but when the copperhead he was trying to finish off Thursday afternoon bit him on his hand, he found himself on the losing end.

Locke, who lives south of Dalton off of Frazier Drive off Old Dixie Highway, said one of his distant relatives called him for help when she ran over a snake near his home with her vehicle. Locke said he held the snake down with a stick and was prepared to strike its head with a jack handle. While he was still in mid-motion, the reptile reached up and struck his hand.

One fang found the top of his hand, and the other, perhaps an inch-and-a-half away, hit between his first two fingers.

“I’ve had 28 major surgeries in my life, and nothing compares to the pain that those snakes lay on you,” Locke said as he recovered in intensive care at Hamilton Medical Center Friday evening.

Locke said he tried to take care of the snake in the first place because he was concerned about neighborhood children happening up on it and getting hurt. Now, he wants to raise awareness about how dangerous snakes can be.

He hopes his story will help keep other people safe, and he hopes kids who get on and off the school bus in grassy areas remember to look around for danger. Had he not tried to remove the snake, Locke believes one of the neighborhood kids might have easily come up on it.

“I used to pick them up when I was a kid,” he said of snakes. “Just let your kids and people know that if they see a snake, call someone that is a professional to take care of the matter. The pain is unbearable ...”

According to an article from North Carolina State University’s Cooperative Extension, copperhead bites are not usually fatal, but the venom can destroy tissue and cause secondary infection. “Many people are bitten while trying to kill or handle the snake. Don’t take chances — avoid these snakes,” the article states at www.ces.ncsu.edu.

Locke’s wife, Melissa, said she praises God her husband is still alive.

“He has picked up 100 snakes and killed them, and this time, I don’t know what happened,” she said. “It happened at my driveway, and they said if he’d even tried to walk back to the house it would have killed him.”

David Locke said the relative who called him to kill the snake was there to drive him back to the house so he could get help, and he was able to wrap the area in a tourniquet to slow the venom’s spread.

How much damage the snakebite will leave behind isn’t known yet, but Locke said he was still in a lot of pain.

The snake, unfortunately, got away. As for Locke, the next time he has to kill a snake he’ll have a firearm with him, he said, and he’ll shoot it from a distance.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014