News

Yeppoon worker dies after being bitten by Taipan

Darren Patterson

AN ERGON Energy employee died almost instantly after being bitten by a deadly snake while out on a job in central Queensland.

Yeppoon crew leader Andrew Vaughan was working his way through dense bushland on Friday with a backhoe operator trying to beat a path to a pole that needed maintenance work.

During the work, Mr Vaughan lost contact with the crew, who raised the alarm as soon as they realised, according to an internal email sent out to Ergon Energy staff by operations executive general manager Peter Billing, who called the death "tragic".

Mr Vaughan was already dead by the time he was found after a huge search by the police, SES volunteers and Ergon Energy employees.

It has been confirmed by Ergon Energy he died from a Taipan snake bite, Brisbane Times reported.

Meanwhile, in Mackay, a man has told of killing a taipan, saying he had no choice  after the coastal taipan reared up to its full height and prepared to strike.

"He was going to have me and I thought I'm better off having you," Ron Lean, of Pleystowe told the Daily Mercury.

With no other option, Mr Lean grabbed a piece of nearby fencing wire and struck the snake on the head, killing it instantly.

While it is an offence to kill, injure or take snakes from the wild, there are exceptions made for cases like Mr Lean's.

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection manager wildlife operations Mike Devery said if a person was defending themselves from a venomous snake and there was no other option, a defence is available under the Queensland Criminal Code for acts done in extraordinary circumstances.

"If the department was investigating an incident, it would consider the circumstances under which a snake was killed," Mr Devery said.

Mr Lean said he and his wife Jo had just returned home on Friday night and were sitting in their car in the driveway when they noticed the snake lying near a frog pond.

"I hopped out of the car to have a look at him," Mr Lean said. "I was three metres away or more and he stood right up in the air, nearly his full height.

"He was definitely about to strike me, no two ways about it."

The Leans used a snake identification book to confirm it was a taipan, and not a more common eastern brown.

Topics:  death, ergon energy, snake bite, taipan


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Missing man's body found in bushland at Coolum

Adrian Korst, 39, was last seen at Coolum on Friday.

Police treating cause of death as non-suspicious

Man arrested over bomb scare to stay in custody

Drama unfolds on Weyba Downs Street as bomb squad is called in.

Magistrate says accused has "snowflake's chance" of getting bail

Is Clive Palmer really in his Sunshine Coast electorate?

Clive Palmer was seen during Anzac Day commemorations at Nambour in 2015.

If you can believe what you read on Twitter Clive could be in town

Latest deals and offers

Adem Crosby's legacy: 30,000 lives saved in 3 years

IF ONLY life was fair, Brent and Lu Crosby would have suffered through enough to ensure a lifetime free of challenges.

Missing man's body found in bushland at Coolum

Adrian Korst, 39, was last seen at Coolum on Friday.

Police treating cause of death as non-suspicious

Man arrested over bomb scare to stay in custody

Drama unfolds on Weyba Downs Street as bomb squad is called in.

Magistrate says accused has "snowflake's chance" of getting bail

Is Clive Palmer really in his Sunshine Coast electorate?

Clive Palmer was seen during Anzac Day commemorations at Nambour in 2015.

If you can believe what you read on Twitter Clive could be in town

Pt Arkwright resident wakes to screaming tyres, sirens

Paramedics were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle.

Paramedics were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle

In sickness and health: cancer groom granted wedding wish

WEDDING BELLS: Andy Rahman, who has terminal cancer, married Emma Taplin at Sunshine Castle after My Wedding Wish granted his bucket list wish to get married

Life is no fairytale for Andy Rahman but one wish came true

Spectacular Crash as Corvette Flips at Drag Races

Corvette flips at 350kmh.

Driver walks away from 350kmh crash in Texas.

Star Wars: Force Awakens told in Emojis

Disney has released an emoji version of The Force Awakens.

To commemorate Star Wars Day, Disney releases emoji version of film on a smart...

NYPD join dance challenge

New York Police respond to NZ dance challenge.

New York's finest accept Kiwi dance challenge.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances