Video: Teen airlifted to safety after rattlesnake bite

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SAN DIEGO –  Video recently released shows a San Diego boy getting swept up by an emergency helicopter moments after he was attacked by a rattlesnake.

Bradley, 14, was hiking with a group of adults and kids at 3:50 p.m. Sunday in Mission Trails Regional Park near Clairemont Mesa Boulevand and Rueda Drive when the rattlesnake attacked, according to Joe Amador of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

“He grabbed the snake and pulled it off his leg before throwing it,” the boy’s father Thomas Avey said.

It was only a matter of minutes before rescuers in a helicopter plucked the teen from the trail and flew him to Rady Children’s Hospital. He was treated for a bite to his swollen right leg.

The boy's father said the animal did not behave like a typical rattlesnake.

“There was no warning, no rattle – nothing,” he said.

While rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal, rescuers did not waste a second getting the teen treated with the anti-venom.

“I didn’t tear until I saw the helicopter go off because I knew he was in good hands,” said his mother, Julie Avey, who is a master sergeant in the Air National Guard. She leaned on her military training to make sure the mission to save her son was successful.

Bradley continued to be monitored at Rady Children’s Hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

“His leg is really swollen, but he’s doing okay. He’s hanging in there,” Thomas Avey said.

There’s a good chance the snake came out of hibernation due to the warm winter weather, Battalion Chief Mike Finnery told Fox 5.

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2 comments

  • c dansreau

    If the rattlesnake was a juvenile they do not rattle. However when they bite they typically inject more venom than a adult will. it is good they airlifted him

  • jim bass

    Nothing mr Dansreau said is correct… juvenile rattlesnakes do rattle…but often don’t have enough buttons to be heard, and while a juvie rattler may release more venom per bite (up to 1/3 of stored venom) an adult can release far more. That said… 1/3 of all bites are considered ‘dry bites’. Rattlesnakes do NOT Attack people… they only strike when they feel threatened, and strike in self-defense. these are considered legitimate ‘accidential bites’ which are very rare.

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